Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday's Pre Pesach Matza Crumbs

As regular readers of this blog are aware, the Thursday night post is usually a summary of a vort said over by Rabbi Frand on the Parsha during his Thursday Night Shiur. This week R' Frand did not give his regular Thursday night shiur. However, I did hear a shiur this evening given by R' Mansour on Pesach and I would like to reproduce a vort that he said in the shiur. Usual rules still apply - I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Mansour.

As part of the shiur R' Mansour asked why do we use wine at the seder? He answered that wine makes people happy - since we are free we want something that will make us happy. This can't be accomplished with water and milk and beer is out so it must be wine. But if wine makes us happy, why do we use it for havdalah? We know that the end of shabbos is a sad time. Indeed, we use the besamim as part of havdalah so that we will not be so upset that the neshama yeseira is leaving us now that shabbos is over. So why is wine used in havdalah? R' Mansour answered that the reason that we use wine in havdalah is that havdalah itself is linked to the seder. Havdalah discerns between kodesh and chol and one needs intelligence to be able to differentiate. When a person realizes that he has used his intelligence to come to a conclusion, its time to be happy.

R' Mansour then explained that each of the four languages of separation in havdalah: kodesh - l'chol; ohr - l'choshech; yisrael - l'amim and yom hashvi'i - l'sheshes yimei hamaseh are linked to the four cups at the seder.

The first cup of wine at the seder is used for Kadesh - when we make kiddush and sanctify the day. The kiddush attests that today is kodesh and yesterday was not. The first separation in havdalah is between kodesh and chol - we recognize that there is a difference between holiness and mundane.

The second cup of wine at the seder is said over the hagadda. At the end of the maggid we say that Hashem took us out of darkness to great light. This corresponds to the second language of havdalah - separating between ohr and choshech.

The third cup of wine at the seder follows the meal - it is with the birkas hamazon. R' Mansour pointed out that the meal is sandwiched between parts of hallel. Could one imagine that during the week we would break in the middle of hallel in davening to go have breakfast and then continue davening thereafter? Of course not! So why do we do so at the seder? R' Mansour answered that the meal is not a break in the hallel. When we eat the meal on Pesach, even the meal is spiritual. He compared it to how the Kohen partakes of the sacrifice and the offerer obtains atonement. This is different than the offering of an akum which is only an olah.

R' Mansour then quoted the Sfas Emes who remarked about the concept of v'achalta v'savata u'beirachta - you ate, you were satiated and you bentched. The language is odd - it should say u'tivarech - a commandment to bentch. The Sfas Emes explains that the reason there is no direct commandment is because it is the natural progression. Because you ate and were satiated you will want to bentch. This is seen on the night of the seder - v'achalta is the karban chaggiga, v'savata is the karban pesach which must be eaten l'sova. Once these have been consumed then we will want to bentch and thank Hashem. This concept sets us apart from the akum. We understand that we can sanctify the mundane and that the concept of eating can be raised to a spiritual level.

The fourth cup of wine is for the future - we say shvoch chamascha and are thinking about the geula in the future. Previously in the hagadda we had talked about the past, but now we begin discussing the future. R' Mansour then noted that the concept of galus is compared to the six days of the week. We are always praying that we will have a day that is kulu shabbos. When we talk about the future and redemption we are looking for the day which will be different than the rest of the week.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

No comments: