From Rabbi Strosberg:
Our Parsha states: "A fire on the altar must be kept burning within...Keep fire burning constantly on the altar; do not let it go out." On one level this verse means that there had to be a constant supply of fuel on the altar in order to accommodate the daily sacrifices. This applied even on Shabbat, when it is normally forbidden to light a fire. On another level, the constant fire refers to the inner spiritual life of a Jew. The passion and energy needed to fulfill the Torah have to be stoked constantly. On this Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat, may we ignite and stoke our great inner flames.
From the President:
How and why does the mention of "Pesach, Matza, and Maror" fulfill ones' obligation to complete the mitzvah?
Not surprisingly, commentators give numerous explanations. Some say that this section of the Haggadah completes the answering of the four questions. Others say that the Pesach lamb shows our rejection of idol worship, the Matza involves obedience to Hashem's prohibition of chametz, and Maror emphasizes the suffering and therefore our belief in reward and punishment. .
Another explanation states that these commandments are the steps by which the Jews rose from pagan ways to the pure worship of G-d and the receiving of the Torah. Yet another says that the Pesach recalls the revelation of Hashem when he passed over the Jewish homes, sparing the firstborns. Therefore, we should not attribute our redemption to our own actions (making the matza) or to the wickedness of the Egyptians (maror) but to the mercy of Hashem.
Why does Rabbi Gamliel mention Maror as the last mitzvah? Maybe it is to refer to later exiles that followed the redemption from Egypt. Rabbi Bunim of Pashischa explains that bitterness and suffering, and the greatness of salvation cannot be fully appreciated until after one has been redeemed from it. The author of Vayagidu L'Mordechai suggests that Rabbi Gamliel intended to include in his teaching the idea that even after deliverance it is important to recall one's former suffering in order not to forget the miracles of Hashem and to be ever thankful.
As we all sit around our seder tables may we all remember the miracles that Hashem has provided and may we all be thankful for what Hashem has provided.
|Sat Mar 23, 2013 1pm – 4pm GMT (no daylight saving)|
|Kehillat Ohr Tzion, 879 Hopkins Rd. Williamsville, NY 14221 (map)|