Vertluch: Pesach 5773


One of the most essential fundamentals of the night of the seder is to encourage our children to ask questions and provide them with proper answers. We purposely execute out of the ordinary practices to evoke their curiosity with hope they will ask. To the extent that the ba’al hagada breaks down and categorizes four different types of children who ask four different kinds of questions, and then gives four different styled answers.

It is interesting to note that the question of the rasha does not seem to get answered. We seem to ignore his points, as it says we ‘blunt his teeth….’ It’s not the answer to his question and as mentioned, the main focus of the evening is for the children to ask so we can respond to them. Why don’t we give him an answer?

Furthermore, the hagada says ‘because he excluded himself from the klal and he denied Hashem, he is a kofer b’ikker’. This seems to be out of order. Shouldn’t it have first commented that he was a kofer b’ikker because he excluded himself from the klal and denied the existence of Hashem?

Rav Issur Zalman Meltzer Zt’l, offers an answer based upon the following story.

A non religious man had approached a ‘chacham echad’ who challenged him on the belief in God. He began rattling off his questions one by one but the chochom didn’t respond. When he was finished his rant he looked at the ‘chochom’ and proudly exclaimed that he had won. ‘I stomped you’, he proclaimed. The chochom responded and said as follows: ‘I can only give answers to questions-not answers to answers. Everything you had just stated were merely excuses for your behavior. You wish for a life with no restrictions, simply looking for pleasurable experiences. You are simply trying to justify your behavior.’

Says Rav Isser Zalman Zt’l, a person’s life is all controlled by his attitude. Should I follow the way of Hashem or not? If one chooses to do so, there are no questions. Should one choose not to, then all he has is answers. The fact was that this rasha had no questions. He excluded himself; he wasn’t interested in being Jewish. He wanted a care free life so he therefore had to justify it. He belittled and mocked everything so he can go ahead and have a good time.

Malbim in parshas Shelach says that we say in shema everyday ‘v’lo sasuru achrei l’vavchem v’achrei einechem…Lest we not stray after [what] our heart and our eyes [desire]…’ Chazal tell us that the gemara says the first step to a person sinning is that their eyes see it and then their heart desires it. Being they first have to see it shouldn’t the Torah have reversed the order in which we say it?

Remarks the Malbim, no. If a person has an attitude of doing the ratzon Hashem and they have proper perspectives then there are many which they see that won’t affect them; they will have the ability to overcome it. However, if a person portrays an attitude of ‘I don’t care’, then they may see it first but in reality it started with their attitude-their heart. Is your heart looking to fulfill every pleasure in life or the ratzon Hashem? If one knows his job in this world is to glorify Hashems name in this world, then he won’t allow the things he sees to drag him down and he won’t necessarily run to follow them.

May we all be zoche to have the right attitude of wanting to fulfill the ratzon Hashem and may we all merit witnessing the true geulah this year with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days.