Pesach: Are We Really Wanting?

My apologies for the repeat Dvar Torah sent this past week.  Technical issue.

I hope everybody is enjoying their Pesach.  After a year of lockdowns, Israel is seeing its biggest traffic issue in history.  Every possible place is full of people and the roads are jammed.

Thankfully, I was able to rent a seven-seater privately from somebody (I named it "The Millennium Falcon" … that's how old and cranky it is), and more thankfully, I've been fortunate to find hiking trails within a 20-minute radius from where I live, that nobody knows about.  Yesterday, we did an 8-km hike in the forest, and today a 3.5-km hike around a Jewish village.  We’re having a nice time, enjoying the weather and scenery in Northern Israel.  It's hard to get better than that.

While the hikes were very enjoyable and relaxing, the first hike was … different.  After 20 minutes or so, the kids spotted three horses further up on the trail.  They were really excited.  REAL horses!  However, the excitement quickly changed as we got closer and they realized: the horses were not moving out of the way.

There was a father horse, a mother horse, and a baby horse.  And, for those women who complain that their husbands are lazy sacks of meat … well … the baby horse was following us around; the mother horse was guarding over the baby horse, and the father horse was oblivious to everything and was off to the side eating.  So, it's in our nature.

We were able to pet the horses and get past them, at least my wife and I, since the rest of the kids were shivering in fear.  The hike was scrubbed.

Oh well ….

There is a story of the Arizal who once told his talmidim to get ready to go to Yerushaliyim via Kabbalistic channels.  Some of those talmidim, though, wanted first to go to their homes and tell their wives.  Immediately, the Arizal broke down crying and said "Oy! that you did not agree to go immediately, for we could have gone to Yerushaliyim and brought the Redemption!"  Rav Pincus asked the obvious question: What's wrong with what they did?  Going to tell their wives is basic derech eretz!  But it's obvious that even the Arizal knew that, and if he said that they need to go immediately, one should have enough trust in his rav to know that there is a good reason that "basic derech eretz" is overridden.

What did they do wrong?  Rav Pincus answers that It's comparable to a yeshiva bochur about to go to yeshiva for the first time.  He knows that his life is now changing and there are a few things that he will not be able to do any more.  Not because they are forbidden, but because it's not "age-appropriate." So, before he goes to yeshivah, he does these things one last time.


When a person makes upward changes in his life, he knows that there are certain things that will no longer be appropriate for him.  However, it's hard for him to give them up.  That's natural.  However, if one truly desires what he is going for, he will forgo those things from his past.

When we say, "Next Year in Yerushaliyim," our desire is so great that we don't care for all the things in our past.  We will happily forgo those "fun things" for the spiritual pleasure that we will receive when Moshiach comes.

This is what the Arizal saw in his talmidim.  Yes, they wanted Yerushaliyim and the Redemption, but they did not want it badly enough.  They still felt a connection with their "normal lives" and wanted to go home "one last time."  If we truly want Moshiach and feel that it's more important than anything in the world, then we will truly see it.