Well, our fourth elections in two years are done! Can't wait for the fifth….
It turns out that the timing of the elections were perfect. Instead of getting in the way of Pesach cleaning, the kids went out from (local) party headquarters to party headquarters collecting shirts, hats, posters, etc. from all the different parties. We even have a few "Lieberman" t-shirts (probably the most anti-religious Knesset member of recent times). They were out most of the day. The downside is … we now have tons of election junk, and my youngest has declared that we will be holding elections in the house today. I wonder who's going to be running for "Abba. " I'm not; I need a vacation.
The climax of the Seder night is Hallel, the praises we sing to Hashem near the end. It's a culmination of the realization of the good that Hashem has done for us on a national level and on a personal level. Had Hashem not taken us out of Egypt…. Whether that be the national "Egypt" or the personal "Egypt," we have what to be thankful for.
The whole point of the Seder is to arrive at Hallel in an emotional state, to want to give thanks to Hashem for everything that He has given us.
The Gemara (Shabbos 118b) recalls a statement by Rebbe Yosi, who said, "May my portion be like those who recite Hallel every day." The Gemara questions this, because we have another teaching that states clearly that somebody who recites Hallel every day is like somebody who curses Hashem! The Gemara answers that Rebbe Yosi was speaking about Pesukei Dzimra, which is recited every morning and contains elements of Hallel, while the Gemara was speaking of Hallel itself.
How can we explain this?
I'll give a small example. Unfortunately, or fortunately (depends on who you are), for a few years now, my wife and I, in general, do not give our tzedakah to bigger organizations, unless we have a personal connection to them. We prefer to give to smaller places that we know or individuals. Why? It's not because we're against them or what they do, but unfortunately, once you are on their list, they call you far more often, and use the line, "…but last time you gave X amount…." On top of that, they end up sharing your number with other organizations, and the next thing you know, you can't answer your phone, since you have no idea if it's somebody else trying to get money from you. In the end, you don't exactly have the fondest feelings for the organization.
This is what happens when a person recites Hallel every day.
Hallel, the height of the Seder, is reserved for very special times, where we have a clear recognition of all the good that Hashem has given us. It usually is reserved for times of miracles. For us to say it every day, would not only cheapen Hallel itself, but also cheapen our relationship with Hashem.
On the other hand, we DO need to recognize Hashem's greatness every day, or we wouldn't have a relationship with Him at all! So, for this, we have Pesukei Dzimra, with which we open our davening, every morning.
What many people don't know (or don't care to remember), is that Pesukei Dzimra is something of great importance. The Beis Yosef writes that one should be careful to come to shul on time and to say it properly and in order; for if it's said out of order, the "spiritual pipelines" that connect a person to Heaven get "messed up." The Mishna Brurah writes that one should say each word carefully, as if he were counting money, and that saying Pesukei Dzimra properly can destroy certain spiritual blemishes. I also remembering seeing somewhere, though I cannot remember exactly, that one of the things a person is judged on in the World to Come is if he said Pesukei Dzimra properly.
Who would have thought that something that is treated so lightly by the public is so important?
This is a nice project one can work on this Pesach. The first is the Hallel we say at the Seder, which is based on the recognition of what Hashem has done and continues to do on a national and personal level. Then, starting the next morning, when the Yetzer Horah has extra power, due to the late night before, we can try to come to shul on time or even a few minutes earlier, to say Pesukei Dzimra properly, showing that even when we're exhausted, we recognize the goodness that Hashem gives us each and every day.