web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

For The Sake Of His Name

Staum-042012

The final step of the Seder is “Nirtzah” in which we sing lyrical songs that extol the greatness of G-d and our exuberance in becoming His Chosen Nation. One of those songs is, “Echad mi yodea – Who knows One?” Prima facie, it seems like a children’s song, with little profundity. But after an entire Seder, replete with special mitzvos and a unique atmosphere, it is foolhardy to believe that we would conclude the glorious evening with children songs. What is the significance of this song?

A fellow once proposed the following question to Harav Gedalia Schorr zt’l: The Gemara (Chullin 89a) states: “Techeiles is similar (in color) to the sea, the sea is similar to the heavens, and the heavens are similar to the Throne of Glory.” Thus, the techeiles on one’s tzitzis are supposed to serve as a constant reminder to its wearer about G-d. Does any person really think in that manner – that the techeiles trigger images of the sea, which triggers images of the sky, which reminds him of G-d’s Throne?

Rabbi Schorr replied, “The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 20b) also states that it is forbidden to stare at colored clothing belonging to a woman because it may conjure up forbidden thoughts in his mind. That also seems a bit far fetched. But that point most people do seem to understand! Why isn’t that far-fetched? The reason is because we are easily reminded of things that we are focused on. That is the way our minds work. [For example, when a close friend/family member dies, G-d forbid, for some time afterwards anything can trigger a memory about the deceased.] When one allows himself to think about inappropriate things, even staring at certain clothing can trigger inappropriate thoughts. But one who is focused on G-d and His Service will be reminded of G-d when he sees the techeiles, even though it may be a far-fetched symbolism.”

The whole sequence and process of Seder night is to guide us to realize the direct involvement that G-d maintains over every aspect of our lives. By the time the Seder is over we have hopefully been emotionally and spiritually elevated and are able to see our lives and the world in a different light. Therefore, just prior to the conclusion of the Seder we start over. We go back to the most rudimentary level of learning that we are taught in our youth, i.e. the concept of numbers. But at that point the numbers take on new meaning. We do not see one apple, two giraffes, three buildings, and four airplanes. Rather, we see One G-d, two tablets, three Patriarchs and four Matriarchs. After eating the “food of faith,” consuming marror which reminds us that even the bitterness of exile is divinely ordained, after relating all of the events leading up to the redemption, and singing hallel to G-d with joyful bliss, everything takes on higher meaning.

Pesach does not end after the Seder is completed. The remainder of the holiday serves to instill within our psyche all of the lessons and levels we gained at the Seder, so that we can take them with us.

Pesach has come and passed, not passed by but passed through! Now we continue our trek towards reaccepting the Torah on Shavuos with a new view on life. After we ingrained within ourselves that there is but One G-d in the heaven and earth, and that we follow his mitzvos simply because He commanded them, we can focus on the ever integral question, “Und vos zugt Gott?”

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead, as well as Guidance Counselor and fifth grade Rebbe in ASHAR, and Principal at Mesivta Ohr Naftoli of New Windsor. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com. Visit him on the web at www.stamtorah.info.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “For The Sake Of His Name”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Border Police keep an eye out for Palestinian Authority terrorists.
IDF on Manhunt for Arab Terrorists Trying to Gun Down Jewish Drivers
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Sacks

Simply too many cases of prayers being answered to deny it makes a difference to our fate. It does.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

Jacob cries, overcome by the knowledge that his great love for Rachel will end in unbearable pain.

Vayeitzei_lecture

There’s a perfect mirror between Jacob running away from Esav to when he reunites with his brother.

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

More Articles from Rabbi Dani Staum
Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Avraham became a great man during the 175 years of his life, while his predecessors became increasingly wicked, despite staggering knowledge, during their lifetimes of hundreds of years.

Parsha-Perspectives-NEW

Often in life we become stuck – stuck in the morass of our habits and the rote of our comfort level.

The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash!”

After listening to the driver’s incredible story, Rabbi Levenstein asked him, “What about you? After seeing such a miracle why didn’t you became Torah observant?”

Twelve of the greatest leaders of the nation, one from each shevet, were dispatched to survey the land. The results of that mission were catastrophic.

It is one thing to do a chesed for someone one time or when it is convenient. But for a person to go a few hours out of his way every year for a stranger demonstrates incredible selflessness.

Rav Pam said we must realize that God has no pleasure from such negative speech.

A friend of mine recently heard a comment that left him stunned. A colleague told him that his mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, who had recently lost her husband of five decades, told her son, “You should know, being alone is worse than Auschwitz!”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/for-the-sake-of-his-name/2012/04/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: