I wanted to share this week a few short ideas connected to Pesach.
As a follow-up to what I wrote two weeks ago in Parshat Tazria about the attribute of humility, I found in a booklet of Breslov teachings about Pesach a diary entry by Rebbe Noson. He writes there that being able to combine greatness and submissiveness is the main aspect of complete humility. When can we obtain this attribute on a higher level? He says that expanded consciousness and constricted consciousness come together and are included together on the night of the Pesach Seder, which is one of the most special and inspirational nights of the year as we read the haggada together and celebrate Pesach. This is the main aspect of completion which a person can obtain, true humility. Meaning that on the one hand a person needs to know their strength, knowing that their soul has tremendous light and strength to overcome and abstain from sins and negative influences; yet on the other hand they are able to be truly humble and know their own meekness compared to the greatness of Hashem. When Rebbe Nachman said that regarding humility many people are mistaken, he also said during the same discussion that a person needs to know his own strength. (Reb Noson’s diary, 57)
Pesach, and especially the Seder night, has the power to awaken us from our spiritual sleep. Rebbe Noson teaches that the exile is the aspect of sleep and the redemption is the aspect of awakening from our slumber. Therefore, the main aspect of the exodus from the Egyptian exile, which is the source of all the types of exile which the Jewish people have experienced, is awakening from our sleep. What awakens us from our spiritual sleep? What helps us to seek a true, close connection with Hashem? Ancient Stories, meaning the stories told by the true tsaddikim which contain within them the deeper, hidden aspects of the Torah. An example of this is Rebbe Nachman’s stories. One of the main mitzvahs which we fulfill on the Seder night as we gather with family and friends to celebrate our freedom is telling the story of the exodus and Hashem’s miracles. The main part of the story which we emphasize is Hashem’s kindnesses as He took us out of the Egyptian slavery. Reading the haggada and discussing the Exodus has the power to awaken people from their sleep, every person on their level. This night has the power to awaken us and help us come closer to Hashem, to remember his miracles which are always with us. This will in turn awaken G-d’s mercy to bring us the final redemption, may it come speedily in our time. (Otsar HaYira on Pesach, 119; Adapted from Likutei Halachot, Laws of Vows, 5th teaching)
Once a student of Reb Noson was complaining to him shortly before Pesach, ‘how am I going to buy everything I need for the holiday? There are so many expenses and I just can’t afford it!’ Reb Noson replied to him, ‘you’ll have what you need for Pesach, you don’t need to worry, Hashem will provide for you. What you really need to focus on and be concerned about is how to take the Pesach (referring to the Pesach sacrifice which was brought at the time of the Temple).’ Meaning that we need to focus on bringing the spiritual light of Pesach inside of us, which should be our main concern. (Paraphrased from a story I heard on a Breslov Research Institute video)
Everyone should be blessed with a Happy and Kosher Passover! We should be blessed through our physical and spiritual preparations for the holiday and our celebration of the holiday to true, personal freedom as individuals and as a people, amen.
(The image is courteous of Chabad.org)