This page presents insights by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton on the weekly Torah portion.
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Passover (5763 (2))
In a few days we will celebrate the holiday of Pesach. Our sages and prophets tell us that this night is supposed to reflect not only on the past but prepare us for the future as well. Namely that just as G-d took us from Egypt through Moses so He will redeem us from our present exile, rebuild the Temple and bring the world to total awareness of G-d (Jewish consciousness) and gather the Jews to Israel through Moshiach.
But does this make sense? The first exile was after only 210 years of slavery and the Jews were surrounded by ‘free’ people. But our present exile has lasted over 2,000 years and no one around us ever experienced such a thing.
What are we supposed to do to prepare for a redemption that has no comparison in history or even in human imagination?
And what exactly is in the Passover meal to prepare us for this great event?
To understand this...here is a story.
There were once two beggars that used to go around begging together. One was Jewish and the other a gentile. As the night of Passover approached the Jewish beggar offered to help his friend get invited to a Seder (festive Passover meal accompanied by many commandments and rituals) and get a good meal.
His gentile friend happily agreed. The night of Passover they went to the Synagogue, and sure enough, both got invited to different homes for the festive ceremony.
Hours later they met in a predetermined place in the local park to share their experiences but to the amazement of the Jew the gentile was blazing mad.
"What did you do to me?!" He shouted. "What did you do!?? It was a catastrophe! What! You call that a meal? It was torture!! It was hell!! I'll get even! You'll see!!"
"What happened?" The Jew asked.
"What happened?! As if you didn't know! You Jews are crazy that's what happened!! First we drank a glass of wine. My head started spinning a bit but I figured that any second we would begin the meal.
The delicious smell of food from the kitchen was great but we didn’t get served. Rather we ate a bit of parsley. Then they started talking, and talking, and talking. All the time I'm smiling and nodding my head like you told me but my head was really swimming and hurting from the wine and I'm dying of hunger.
"The smell of the food from the kitchen is making me insane but they don't bring it out. For two hours they don't bring anything out!! Just talking, and more talking.
“My head is throbbing like a drum. Then, just what I needed.... another cup of wine! Then we get up, wash hands, sit back down and eat this big wafer called Mazza that tastes like newspaper as fast as possible leaning to the left, I started choking, almost threw up.
“And then finally they gave me something to eat! Fresh lettuce! I took a big bite and wham!! My mouth was on fire! My throat!! There was horseradish inside!!! Nothing to eat but horseradish!! I drank all the water at the table, stood up, threw my napkin on the floor and yelled out ‘You guys are nuts!! I quit!!!’ I just got up and left! Enough is enough!!!!"
"Ahh, I should have told you!" replied the Jew. "What a shame. After the bitter herbs is a glorious meal. You suffered so long; you should have just held out for a few more minutes!!"
That’s what we learn from the ‘Seder night’; patience and joy.
And what we said earlier about no one knowing what the future redemption will be like is also not so. The Rebbes of Chabad knew. And they wrote books about it called ‘Chassidut’ so that everyone could know (see your local Chabad House for details)
But after all we must be ACTIVELY patient; just one more good deed, word or thought can end the 2,000 years of bitterness and bring us all to the Holy Temple where we will actually make the Pesach offering together with ALL the JEWS and......
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