ישיבת כרם ביבנה

The Personal Ge'ulah

Yaakov Trump

The ge'ulah of Bnei Yisrael from Egypt is characterised in many ways; one of these aspects is mentioned in the pasuk, "???? ?' ?? ????" - Hashem will pass over the entrances of the Jews. (Shemot 12:23) This verse is said concerning the plague of the firstborn, when all the firstborns of Egypt were smitten and the Jews were saved. This aspect seems so intrinsic to the day that it even takes on the name, "Pesach" – Passover. On a simple level, we celebrate the fact that Hashem chose us and saved us. However, the idea is much deeper.

There is a Midrash in Shir Hashirim Rabbah that expresses an unbelievable concept – "???? ?? ??? ????? ?? ??? ???? ???? ??? ??? ????? ?? ????" – If you (man) open for Me an opening even like the hole of a needle, I (G-d) will open for you an opening like the space of a hall. This means that although a person may find himself in a situation where he is unable to achieve something – if he puts in the effort and intention to start the process – he will be aided by Hashem. This can work both for the good and, unfortunately, also for the bad. A person holds in his hand the ability to choose the path he wishes, and on that path he will be led.

This concept is a big foundation when it comes to Teshuva. When a person starts out with the intention to repent – he will be aided by Hashem as long as he starts the process.

It is quoted in the name of the Kotzker Rebbe that in Egypt Bnei Yisrael were at such a point of tum'ah, the 49th level, that their she'arim (gateways, or perceptions of reality) were so tainted that one more moment in Egypt would have left us irreparable. That is what it means when it says that the Jews did not listen to Moshe from lack of breath and hard work. (Shemot 6:9) They were being offered complete redemption and they couldn't even realise it! They were at such a level that they did not even have the "opening" of the needle – even the first step in the right direction they lacked. That is what Hashem passed over – the fact that we weren't even able to begin. Hashem did a kindness to us to take us out even though we could not strive towards Him at all on our own.

This is a crucial idea during the Seder night, and it finds expression in the ????? ???? ????? – the son who cannot ask. He is at a point where he cannot even begin the conversation concerning Pesach. This is how the Jewish people were before they left Egypt. Now we have to open up for this child; we begin the conversation telling him:  "????? ?? ??? ?' ?? ????? ??????" – It is because of this that Hashem acted on my behalf when I left Egypt. (Shemot 13:8) Rashi on the Torah explains that "ba'avur zeh"  – means for the future. Hashem redeemed Bnei Yisrael so that we should be able to keep the mitzvot of Pesach, Matzah and Maror. So, too, we have to begin speaking with the she'aino yodei'a lish'ol – we need to start the process to bring about what he will be able to contribute.

The Avnei Nezer comments that this is why we address this child as a female – "?? ??? ??." "Man" represents influence and outward expression, while "woman" represents receiving and internalisation. Therefore, we should not address the she'aino yodei'a lish'ol in a manner of telling to be heard, but rather mentioning in order to evoke expression; so that he will be able to ask himself.

In Bava Kama 32b Rav Simi attempts to answer a question posed by Rava but he errs. Rava kicks Rav Simi's sandal in response, quoting a disproof to his answer. However, the next comment is that of Rav Simi who tries again to answer the question. We see the way that Rava dealt with Rav Simi – instead of shouting at him and correcting him, he gives him a push, "Nu ... think harder!" He teaches Rav Simi by making him think.

This is an important lesson in teaching, because the she'aino yodei'a lish'ol is not just a child with a pacifier, and he is not only one kind of person. Every person has an aspect, whether intellectual, emotional or spiritual, of the she'aino yodei'a lish'ol within him. This is part of a person that needs to develop, but cannot without assistance from outside – the teacher to help open up that aspect to growth.

One of the lessons to be learned from the ge'ulah of Pesach is the fact that everyone has the ability to bring out growth in others, and also stands to be helped to flower in many areas of his own personality. May it be a Pesach filled with growth and learning.

 

 

קוד השיעור: 3967

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Johannesburg, South Africa

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