web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 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 »

Writing A Book On Pesach


Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

Unfortunately, with today’s generation gap, children can’t understand or relate to their parents’ experiences. For many Jews today, the Lech Lecha of their parents, their life experiences, their Judaism, is irrelevant. In order for us to inject meaning into the stories that we write during our lives, we must do more than simply put words on paper. We have to create a climate for our children to appreciate the events that shaped Jewish history.

Today we have unprecedented access to various texts, but too often they are simply words on paper. We lack the involvement and participation in the events we study. The great scribe does not write on parchment or paper. He writes on the hearts of people and influences their lives.

He transmits a living Torah she’be’al peh and associated living experience to the next generation, ensuring the flame of Torah burns eternally. These scholars were called sofrim because they transmitted our traditions and Torah. Their greatest accomplishment was to keep Torah alive for subsequent generations, creating living sefarim.

One need not write tomes during his life to earn the title of sofer. We have no recorded writings from the Baal Shem Tov. Yet his Torah was spread throughout the world by his living sefarim, his many students. Moshe Rabbeinu was called safra rabba d’Yisrael, the great scribe of Israel. We find that Moshe wrote a sefer Torah towards the end of his life. Yet he earned the title because of the Torah he taught and inscribed into the hearts and souls of bnei Yisrael so that they might be the scribes for the next generation. Just as the original word of God continues to drive nature, Torah is as alive for us today as it was thousands of years ago. Our uniqueness lies in our ability to transmit Torah from generation to generation, despite great difficulties, without diluting the message.

Sippur yetzias Mitzrayim is more than telling a story. “Vehigadta l’vincha” (Shemos 13:8) requires a father to write the book that will become his son as a carefully written sefer, not as an igeres. The obligation to be the scribe of this book extends well beyond the Seder night; it encompasses all of life. In every generation the Jew must view himself as if he just left Egypt. He must feel that he has participated in the entire, collective Jewish experience and must inscribe this knowledge into the book that is his child. Sippur yetzias Mitzrayim represents the book of Jewish existence that a father must pass to his child.

There were many great scholars who were not able to permanently inscribe the sefarim that was their children. They were only able to write an igeres, a short-term note, that their children quickly discarded when they left home. Yet there are simple parents who succeeded in making a permanent inscription into their children’s personality. They were able to write on the hearts of their children their Seder, their feelings on Tisha B’Av, the beauty of their Shabbos, the solemnity of their Yom Kippur and their blessing of their children before Kol Nidrei in a way that made a lasting impression on the child, an impression that stayed with him throughout many years of separation and struggle. Why should the scholar fail where the simple person succeeds?

Chazal say that there are ten synonyms for prophecy, one of which is the word masa. There are two explanations why masa refers to prophecy. The first is that the prophet would raise his voice when presenting the message of God to the people. The second is the Rambam’s (Moreh Nvuchim) that masa is used to indicate that prophecy was a heavy load for the prophet to bear.

About the Author: Rabbi Joshua Rapps attended the Rav's shiur at RIETS from 1977 through 1981 and is a musmach of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan. He and his wife Tzipporah live in Edison, N.J. Rabbi Rapps can be contacted at ravtorah1@gmail.com.


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.

One Response to “Writing A Book On Pesach

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Banner at Tehran military parade, Sept. 23, 2013. Although the English statement is relatively mild, in Persian and Arabic it says “Death to America.”
Iran Says Nuclear Deal ‘Impossible’ by Nov. 24 Deadline
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

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

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

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

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

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

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

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)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Rabbi Joshua Rapps
Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

This complementary nature and unified destiny is the basis of the Covenantal Community.

If I appoint someone as Shatz, he is supposed to pray for me, as if I was praying.

Bris Bein Habesarim affirmed that Hashem gave the land to Avraham’s children. It does not specify for how long. It did not guarantee the Jewish people eternal ownership of the land

Shem realized that he owed his existence to his father who brought him into the world.

What right do I, sinner, have to approach Hashem and request forgiveness?

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/writing-a-book-on-pesach/2014/04/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: