Sharing Torah Insights

Yom Hashem

Posted on ב׳ בשבט ה׳תש״ע (January 17, 2010) | in Bo | by

(I got this Dvar Torah from HaRav Menachem Leibtag Shlita)
400 years before the Exodus of Egypt, the city of Sdom was celebrating Pesach. According to Rashi, Lot served his guests matzot on Pesach.
Flash forward a couple of parshiot and we are in Sefer Shmot. Moshe speaks to the sneh (burning bush). During that encounter, Hashem gives Moshe two missions.
1.Get Pharaoh to allow the Jewish people to worship Hashem in the desert.
2.To have the Jewish people to recognize that Hashem has come to fulfill his covenant.

The first nine plagues don’t mention any instruction to the Jews. The focus is on the confrontation between Moshe and Pharaoh – or really Hashem and Egypt. The purpose of the first nine plagues is: “v’yadu MITZRAIM ki Ani Hashem” – “And EGYPT will recognize that I am Hashem, when I stretch my hand over Egypt…” (7:5) The first nine plagues are all part of mission 1.

A covenant by nature is two sided. Hashem must follow His promise and take the Jewish people out of Egypt and into Israel, and in turn the Jewish people must show loyalty and servitude to Hashem. During the first nine plagues, Hashem has no problem differentiating the Jews from the Egyptians, but when it come to makkat bechorot, the Jewish people are instructed to smear the blood of the Korban Pesach on their door posts. Hashem in His ultimate perfection doesn’t need the Jewish people to put blood on their door posts so He’ll know which homes are not Egyptian. So why make us do it?

A change of lifestyle, especially that of a nation, cannot be done overnight. If the Jews began their teshuva process prior to the first plague, as Hashem had demanded, they could have been ready for the ideal redemption process. Had we been worthy, the blood on the door posts may not have been necessary. Now that Hashem was about to reveal Himself b’shem Havaya they deserve to be punished with the Egyptians, but Hashem has mercy. (Yechezkel 20:7-9) The fact that Hashem PASSED OVER their homes emphasizes this point- they deserved to be punished with the Egyptians, but Hashem saved them in the last minute.
The Korban Pesach has a dual purpose:
1.The Jewish people recognize that they do not deserve to be saved
2.Offering the Korban Pesach in thanksgiving of Brit Ben Habetarim reminds them that if they are saved, it is in order that they can fulfill the next stage of the covenant → to become His special nation in the Promised Land.

According to pshat, Lot baked matzot instead of bread because his guests came suddenly. Rashi’s drash, that Lot baked matzot because of Pesach thematically links the events leading to the destruction of Sdom to Yetziat Mitzraim. In both events Hashem reveals Himself b’shem Havaya – in Judgement.

Rashi’s commentary point to a deeper biblical theme, that of ‘Yom Hashem’. Yom Hashem is known throughout Tana”ch as the day when Hashem reveals Himself, causing the wicked to be punished , and the righteous to be saved. Yom Hashem is Hashem’s day of judgement.
We see that it is necessary to do teshuva before redemption, otherwise Hashem’s revelation will lead to destruction.
KOS SHEL ELIYAU- The redemption process began with the Jewish people not deserving salvation, but it continued with receiving the Torah and inheriting Israel – which require spiritual readiness. The Korban Pesach was the “first step” in the right direction.

Every year on Pesach, we thank Hashem for the fulfillment of Brit ben Habetarim (Magid) and pray for redemption (Hallel/ Nirtza). Before that prayer, we invite Eliyahu HaNavi to our seder table. This is the same Eliyahu promised to us by Malachi- to remind us that we must do proper teshuva prior to redemption, and warn us of the consequences if we don’t.

Shabbat Shalom u’mevorach!!

TAGS: , , , , , , , ,

Facebook comments:

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

What’s your goal on Seder night? What are we actually trying to do on Seder night? What is the goal of...

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Support myDvar