Special Dvar for Pesach (Passover) 5776
As we sit down on Pesach (Passover) night at the Seder, we make a transition that we wouldn’t realize unless we think about it. All day we prepare the food, making sure we don’t have Chametz (leavened bread), making sure we have all the Marror (bitter plants) and eggs ready. The unleavened bread is to remind us that we’re still poor, the Marror to remind us of the past exile, and the eggs dipped in salt to remind us that we’re still in exile. Then, we start the Seder, and the first thing we say is how this is the “time of our freedom”. We continue by telling the story of how we were freed, and we even act like we’re kings by leaning when we sit! Are we slaves, or are we free kings?
R’ Yerucham of Mir explains that the “time of our freedom” means that not only was it when we were freed from slavery many years ago, but it’s the time when we can do the same today. What does that mean? Aren’t we free? And if we’re not, how does Pesach ‘free’ us? That’s where Pesach, Matzah and Marror come in. Those are the 3 things that remind us, especially when we’re feeling like kings, that we were slaves, and that we’re still in bitter surroundings. If you think about it, because we were saved from slavery by G-d, we are now indebted to Him, which means that we’re still not, and never will be, truly free. Pesach teaches us that “freedom” used just for the sake of being “free” is “dumb”, and that it’s only worth something when we use that freedom to do something good, and be constructive with our lives.