A gitten erev Yom Tov everyone! I will not have time to write tomorrow, so im yirtzeh Hashem there will be a little Torah now for Pesach.
The key mitzvah of the Seder is Sipur Yetzias Mitzrayim, telling over the story of the going out from Egypt. There are various halochos and minhogim that are an integral part of this, such as the leaning in various places, particularly by drinking the cups of wine, bringing out all the nice keilim (vessels) that we have to place on the table, and various other things that are done to emphasize the freedom and wonderfulness of the day.
We say in Kiddush and davening that Pesach is “Z’man Cheiruseinu,” the time of our freedom; that on this day Hashem took us from avdus l’cheirus, from servitude to freedom. There are two different forms of freedom and servitude, they being physical and spiritual. The popular question that is asked is, “If we are free, then why are we called servants to God? We were slaves in Egypt and we’re slaves again, who can call this freedom?” The answer is quite simple, serving Hashem is freedom.
The Zohar HaKodosh states in the first chelek that if a person learns Torah, labors in mitzvos, and engages in kind deeds, then this person is granted freedom from the strictures and pressures of this world. Mitzrayim is a metaphor for the physical realm without Torah, entirely coarse and full of impurity. To be involved with such a world and bowing to every whim of it can only be called slavery in the worst sense: how else can you refer to what a person who is stuck in that situation must feel, or the distance they must falsely perceive between them and Hashem? When a person commits to following the Torah, and self-improvement through serving Hashem, though, they break away from Mitzrayim and instead cleave to the Source of all life and Creation. As it says, Kudsha B’Rich Hu V’Oraysa kulo chad, the Holy One Blessed is He and the Torah are totally one. This is why it is incredibly important to be involved with Torah and mitzvos to some degree at all times, because at those times a person is cleaving to Hashem with all their being. It may sound difficult or impossible, but the mitzva of ahavas Hashem, to love Hashem, is present at all times and can be done simply by cultivating a feeling of appreciation and love for Hashem. Helping another Yid is doing a mitzva and hence also brings a person to this level of d’veykus, to cleave to Hashem at all times.
Pesach reminds us that only through the Torah is there true freedom from Mitzrayim, freedom from the illusions of this world. By performing the Seder according to the traditional ceremony, with the traditional foods, we perform various Tikkunim within ourselves and the world around us. If one can use a Kabbalistic Haggadah that details the exact names to focus on and whatnot this is even better, but simply following the Hagaddah, and saying it in such a way as one can understand and others around the table can understand, one fulfills a Mitzva D’Oraisa, and accomplishes loosing the bonds that keep them bound to the Olam HaSheker, the World of Falsehood.
Hashem should bentsh the whole Klal Yisroel with a happy, kosher Pesach. He should bentsh us all that this will be the last Seder we have in golus. We should merit with our avodah that Eliyohu HaNovi zochur latov should be present physically as well as spiritually at our sedorim this year, and we should be able to give korban Pesach next year in Yerushalayim and perform this avodah there according to all the mitzvos we were given! א פרייליכן כשר’ן פסח יעדער איינער!