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Pesah - Really Free



TODAY'S MESSAGE IS DEDICATED
L'ILUY NISHMAT
HACHAM MORDECHAI BEN NEHAMAH SARDAR ZT'L

TODAY'S MESSAGE IS ALSO DEDICATED
FOR REFUAH SHELEMAH OF
YITZHAK HAYIM BEN RENEE
PLEASE PRAY FOR HIS SPEEDY AND COMPLETE RECOVERY

The season of renewal- springtime - brings with it hopes of salvation and redemption. The holiday of Pesah - one that must always fall in the springtime - is one of happiness and freedom. The sages teach that one should clean out and destroy all traces of hametz - leavening - from one's possession. Not only does one thereby fulfill a Torah commandment but one also should intend to free one self from the psychological shackles of desire for the things negative to the will of our Creator. Hametz is akin to the Yeser Ha Ra - the Evil Inclination. It represents misrepresentation and slight of hand illusion. It makes the rotten look fresh and exciting and the forbidden appear more attractive than the required and permissible.


The Arizal zt’l said that one day of Nissan is equal to one year of life. On the night of the fourteenth we are commanded to do a thorough search of our domain in order to insure that all traces of hametz have been removed. A person is born with an inclination towards mischief. “Hattat al petah rovetz” sin crouches in ambush at the doorway to life. When a person completes one’s thirteenth year of life he becomes bar mitzvah – subject to the commandments – and is gifted with a sense of what is right called Yeser HaTob. As he enters his fourteenth year of life one is equipped to battle desire with good common sense. Our Rabbi’s open the Mishnah of Pesahim with the expression “Or l arba-ah assar” on the evening [at the outset] of the fourteenth day of Nissan people search for Hametz. On that point in one’s life one is armed and prepared to battle one’s Evil Inclination.


Perhaps now we can understand the intent of the Hashem’s declaration that He freed us from Par-oh to become slaves to Him. When one is trapped in a cycle of chasing one’s physical desires one is “slave” to oneself – a human being. However, should one overcome and serve Him as He commanded one is freed from oneself and transforms into an obedient servant of G-d. This is the only true freedom one can experience in this World.


As we sit at the Seder table, reclining in the manner of royalty, we should not only feel our current freedom from oppression but also resolve to maintain our independence from the shackles of desire. May we all be successful in this goal and merit to see the final redemption speedily in our days. This year in Yerushalayim – Amen


Hag Kasher V’Sameah



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