Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits and Pesach Crossover

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts 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' Frand.

Rabbi Frand began the vort by quoting the first of the four questions which asks that on all other nights we eat "Chametz U Matza" but on Pesach, only Matza. The first question is usually translated as "on all other nights we can eat Chametz or Matza, but on this night it is all Matza." Rabbi Frand remarked that this is not quite accurate as the actual language would lead to a translation of on all other nights we eat Chametz and Matza. However, we do not usually eat both Chametz and Matza with dinner [he's never been in my house on a Shabbos when Mrs KB gives me a challah and a matza to make Hamotzi]. 

But if the correct statement is truly Chametz or Matza it should say that, much like the last question which states that on all other nights we either eat sitting up or reclining, using the term "bain". If the intent was Chametz or Matza, it should have said "bain Chametz U'Matza."

R' Frand answered by quoting the Sefer Binyan Ariel who writes that the phrase is accurate as we do eat Chametz and Matza. He explained that there is a Karban Todah (which is mentioned in this week's parsha) which is an animal offering along with bread. Some of the bread is Chametz and some of the bread is Matza. The Korban Pesach is similar to the Korban Todah as both are eaten for a lesser time than the Shelamim, but the Korban Pesach is accompanied by only Matza. So when the Mishna writes that all year long we eat Chametz and Matza, it refers to our Karban Todah, but on Pesach our Karban is accompanied solely by Matza because that was what our forefathers ate when they left Egypt.

R' Frand then continued to develop the vort by quoting R' Avraham Bukspan from Florida who explains why the normal karban has both and the karban Pesach does not. He quoted R' Hirsch who explains that Matza is bread in its crudest form, without human intervention ---its just flour and water. However, Chametz is man's manipulation of the natural elements which yields a more sophisticated product than the original elements. 

When a person brings a Karban Todah to thank Hashem there are two elements - recognizing that Hashem is the one who saved you, without human involvement. But there also is a human element in which you are involved and you have to do your hishtadlus, effort to make sure that you find the correct doctor and see him regularly. Similarly, a person on a sinking ship has to get into the lifeboat and not say "Hashem will save me."

A person who brings the Todah recognizes that there is involvement of Hashem, along with his own efforts to achieve the specific result. But a Karban Pesach is all Hashem. We were ordered to sit in our houses and do nothing, while the Malach HaMaves roamed the street. So we eat the Matza and recognize that it was just Hashem who saved us, without any human involvement.

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