As we sit down to the Seder tonight and recline like kings (and queens), we look back in history to the shameful experience of Yaakov putting up with his infamous father-in-law Lavan. The Torah states (Devarim 26:5) אֲרַמִּי אֹבֵד אָבִי, an Aramean tried to destroy my father. The Baal HaTurim (Bereishis 31:22) tells us that it was Amalek who informed Lavan that Yaakov had fled, and it was the same Amalek who informed Pharaoh that the Jews fled Egypt. Given the fact that Amalek is always getting into the mix, we can suggest the following. The word אבד equals in gematria the word אגג, the archenemy of the Jewish People. When we recall the treachery of our enemies, we hint to Amalek and his nefarious progeny who consistently seek to destroy us. The antithesis of Agag and his evil descendant Haman was Mordechai, who was a thorn in Haman’s side and ultimately was the cause of Haman’s downfall. It is said (Esther 4:17) וַיַּעֲבֹר מָרְדֳּכָי, Mordechai then left, and the Gemara interprets the word וַיַּעֲבֹר to mean that Mordechai annulled the festivities of Pesach that year because of the harsh decree hanging over the Jewish People’s heads.
I heard from Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman Shlita that Mordechai and Esther said before HaShem, “HaShem, it is said (Zohar) that on Pesach night You and the entire Heavenly Abode descend to the homes of the Jews to delight in their celebration of Pesach, and this gives You great joy. If You allow Haman to have his way and annihilate the Jews, then You will never again be able to indulge in this delightful festival.” HaShem accepted this argument and caused the decree to be rescinded. In the merit of Mordechai and Esther saving us from annihilation, we can recline by the Seder and experience true freedom.
It is noteworthy that the word מסבין equals in gematria the word בנימין, as both Mordechai and Esther descended from the tribe of Binyomin. Furthermore, incredible as it is, the word מסבין forms an acrostic for the words מרדכי בן ימיני, סוף ניסים, Mordechai the Benjaminite; the end of miracles, as the Gemara (Yoma 29a) states that the story of Esther was the last of the written miracles that the Jewish People experienced.
When we recline by the Seder tonight, let us demonstrate our gratitude to Mordechai and Esther and all the Jews throughout history who made it possible for us to experience the freedoms that we have and the wonderful lives that we lead as HaShem’s Beloved Children. HaShem should once again delight in our Pesach celebrations and in the merit of the mitzvos that we perform on Pesach, and then HaShem should bring us the Final Redemption, with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu and the Rebuilding of the Bais HaMikdash, speedily, in our Days.
Have a MAJESTIC and LIBERATING Pesach and a STUPENDOUS Shabbos!
Erev Shabbos Kodesh Inspiration Pesach 5776
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Have a wonderful Shabbos and a Chag Kosher Visameach!
Prepared by Rabbi Binyomin Adler
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