Vertluch: Pesach 5771

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Who knows one? As the Seder is winding down, and we continuously struggle to fend off the fatigue that has been creeping up on us all night, the final, yet still a most integral part of the Haggadah begins. With the conclusion of the Seder we would naturally expect a lofty and uplifting climax, some sort of “grand finale” that could enable us to preserve and internalize the spirituality of the night. Instead we encounter some seemingly strange lyrics, a countdown of numbers related to various icons in our religion. They inherently beg for some sort of explanation. Though they were undoubtedly composed and based upon the sacred foundations of the hidden Torah and have been taught by the ancient, accepted Mekubalim to their Talmidim, the simple Jew may perceive these words as seemingly meaningless poetry or childish parables and songs.  What could have been the Baal Hahaggada’s intention in inserting these songs at the conclusion of this glorious night?
 
The Yom Tov of Pesach commemorates Yetzias Mitzrayim and the birth of our nation, beginning with the birth pangs of the ruthless labor we were subjected to by the villainous Mitzriyim, and climaxing with the glorious redemption that distinguished our Master’s mightiness throughout the universe and crowned us as the chosen Nation.  Countless numbers of Mitzvos have been instituted to serve as reminders of Yetzias Mitzrayim in an effort to retain and convey the awesome miracles that occurred, thus giving testimony to the existence and strength of our Father in heaven. So much so that the Mitzvah that is considered to be the most fundamental and integral to our Nation is directly linked to Yetzias Mitzrayim. The first Dibrah of the Aseres Hadibros, voiced by Hakodosh Baruch Hu Alone was the Mitzvah of Emuna. And in the midst of the commandment dedicated to ingrain in our hearts and minds that all that occurs in the world is meticulously coordinated by The One Above, we are reminded of Yetzias Mitzrayim, clearly showing that our essence which is Emunah, begins and ends with Yetzias Mitzrayim.
 
The Seder night has been intentionally patterned with obligations and customs to reminisce and relive our most monumental redemption. We attempt to portray and convey to our families the harsh and ruthless predicament that our forefathers suffered. From the Matzo and the bitter Marror, to the saltwater and the charoises we desperately seek to comprehend even minimally, the extreme brutalities they constantly confronted. Grasping this aspect of the Seder is vital, for ones appreciation of freedom is limited entirely to one’s perception of slavery. The Rambam altering the Mishna’s wording slightly writes; “in every generation one is obligated to portray oneself as if he had “just been” redeemed from Mitzrayim.” The experience of the Seder night is not ancient history but it is something that has happened to us, tonight. We may now have shed some light on the intriguing poem “Who knows one” at our Seders finale. Following our extensive efforts to utilize the evening’s opportunities of attaining new heights in our belief, and deriving a keen spiritual perspective by way of virtually experiencing the great miracles of Yetzias Mitzrayim, we are expected to perceive the world in a more spiritual light. We naturally assume, without contemplation, an overseas trip will be by means of an airplane. People of spiritual heights upon hearing the number one can naturally contemplate nothing but Hashem. The lasting message of the Seder to its now loftier participants with their Emuna enhanced perspectives is to see Hashems hand even in things as mundane as numbers. One is Hashem, two are Luchos etc. The world must appear in a different light to freshly inspired Ballei Emuna.
 
May we, Balei Emuna, be zocheh to see the world in the light of Hashem.
 
Wishing all my readers and all of klal Yisroel a Chag Kosher v’Sameach and a happy and healthy Pesach.
 
HAVE A GREAT YOM TOV.
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