Each week we feature a different Florida Rabbi.
Rabbi Aron Lieberman
Synagogue of Inverrary Chabad
In this weeks portion we are introduced to the first clearly instructed by Hashem. (chap. 12 ve.1) "Hachodesh Hazeh Lochem Rosh Chodoshim, Rishon Hu Lochem Lechadshei Hashanah" This month shall be to you the first of all the months of the year.
What immediately follows is the instruction for the Pascal Sacrifice. To take a sheep on the tenth of the month to be prepared in a specific manner on the fourteenth day of the month. It must be broiled, nor may there be any left over till morning. Anything left over must be burnt.
Then the Torah gives instruction how to eat it. "brought as a sarificebring "VakokahTochlku Oto", this is how you shall eat it "musmaychem chagurim" your loins should be girded, "naaleichem beragleichem", your shoes on your feet, "mackelchem beyedchem", your staff in your hands, "Vaachaltem Oto Bechipazon" you shall eat it hurriedly, "Pesach hu Lashem" its Pasach to Hashem.
This seems to be a very unusual verse. Not only are we told when to prepare it, were told how to prepare it, we are also instructed how to eat it. Furthermore, If this is the holiday of freedom, wouldnt it have been more relaxing to eat it quite the opposite than the way the Torah tells us to? One should be able to eat relaxed, sitting at the Pesach table, kicking off his shoes, especially putting down his walking staff. Surely this would be more an expression of freedom?
Perhaps this is a lesson and teaching what posture we should take while we are still in Galut. A Jew should always be ready and prepared to leave the Galut. Even while the freedom is right there before you, dont relax, always be ready with your coat on, be ready to leave. When in Galut in a country not our own, dont get overly confident. You never know when in it will become uncomfortable. Most important, youre leaving Egypt and you havent gotten to Mt. Sinai yet. Dont get too relaxed.
.. represents you children, your loins, keep them close, keep close ties on them. Dont allow them to be influenced by all the ills of society. Make sure that you give them a proper Jewish education.
Naalaychem braglaychem means, your shoes should be on your feet. Your feet are the lowest part of the body and comes in contact with the thorns around us. Even they need to be protected. The mundane in our lives also need to be sanctified. Often we may think that only my head, the spiritual, needs to be involved with Torah and mitzvahs. But my feet, my pallet, what I smell, what I see, everyone has their own level.
Makelchem beyedchhem, have your staff in your hand. Keep the wandering stick ready. In Galut you never know. History has taught us that many a time we had to take our staff and move on to the next place. If we remain focused we wont be that disappointed.
Eat whatever you are eating but do it hurriedly because there is not time getting to Mt. Sinai where we received the Torah and fulfilled our responsibility of who we are.