Pesach: Freedom of the Night

I received two small video clips this week.  The first was from a father of one of the people killed on October 7th.  He's a jeweler by trade, and on the spur-of-the-moment, he decided, in memory of his son, he would donate an engagement ring to a soldier currently serving.  So, he put up on some Facebook group that any soldier that is about to receive a 24-hour pass and is planning on getting engaged, should contact him.  The first soldier that does so, will get a free ring.  Within six minutes, he received a call.  Not long after that, a second soldier called, to which he replied, "I'm sorry, but somebody already called."  Hearing the dismay in the soldier's voice, he said, "You know what?  Come on over, I'll give one to you as well."  Eighty-one (free) rings later, he's continuing to give them away for free.  He explained, "They're whole goal is to destroy the Jewish people.  Because of them, my son will never build a Jewish home.  I like to think that in lieu of that, I'm helping others build a Jewish home instead."

The second clip was a WhatsApp advertisement for a car-shop somewhere.  In the ad, he showed a large tefillin stand (he himself is not religious).  The owner explained that his best friend was recently killed in a car accident, and he wants people to put on his tefillin in his merit.  So, anybody who comes to the store and puts on the tefillin, will receive a free car wash.

Where else in the world do you find such people??

A friend asked me, Why do we have the "story" of Rebbe Elazar ben Azaria in the Haggadah? In it, Rebbe Elazar explains how we know that there is a mitzvah to remember the Exodus, not only during the day, but also at night.  Not only in this world, but also after Moshiach comes.  This obligation is not really related to Pesach directly, since we're speaking of the daily mitzvah to remember the Exodus.  While on Pesach, we don't have an obligation to remember, but rather to TELL with all the details.

Thankfully, I had an answer at hand, thanks to Rav Reuven Leuchter.

He explains:

This concept of Hashem taking personal involvement in our lives is so important that we have an obligation to think about it during the day, during the night, in this world and even after Moshiach comes. This is what the Jewish nation is all about: Living with Hashem, knowing that He is directly involved with our lives day and night.  Don't think that it happens only when things are dark and you have no idea what you will do, and suddenly Hashem saves you.  Hashem is constantly involved in our lives, even during "the day," when we don't feel any need to think about (or thank) Hashem!  In fact, from here we see the importance of recognizing and thanking Hashem during times that are "day." when things are clear just as much as the times when we are saved at "night."

Why is it so important that we need to remember the Exodus at night, that Rebbe Elazer needed to find a source?  Night was when Pharaoh released the nation through Hashem’s interaction with the world.  It was in the middle of the night that Pharoah officially surrendered.  At that point, we were spiritually free.  We were no longer tied to Pharoah.  He no longer had any control over us.  It was only the morning after that Moshe led us out of Egypt.   It was through human interaction we were set free on a physical level.

The night, however, is more important, since that was our spiritual redemption, which lasts forever.  No matter how much physical exile we are in, both nationally and individually, we are always spiritually free.

And perhaps we find so many people, not just now, as we saw above, but throughout history, that found "spiritual freedom" even, if not specifically, in the midst of physical suffering from the nations around us.

I don't know how things are in America or England right now, spiritually speaking.  I do know that there, despite everything, more people, people who are wearing, what I like to call, "see-through kippas," are doing things that they never did before.  While some of these might have "seen light in the darkness," with open miracles in Gaza, the Lebanese border, or during the initial attacks, many of them are still in the dark, yet within this "night" in which they reside, they are able to taste this spiritual freedom.

One such person gave over a lesson he heard when attending some class on the parsha.  He quoted the rav and said: We know that the frogs got into every place they could, including ovens, knowingly giving up their lives on Hashem's command.  And when we left Egypt, the dogs, in respect to what was occurring, remained silent. Yet, the dogs receive reward for their silence (they receive meat that was found to be not kosher), and the frogs received nothing.  Why isn't it the opposite way?  The rav answered that we learn that keeping quiet is often harder than giving up one's life.  In that, the person with the "see-through" kippa spoke about the importance of keeping quiet and not starting fights (in regards to the protests) and more importantly how he was personally taking upon himself to learn to "halachos a day" about loshon horah.

The nations around us might have control over our physical situation, however, the second Pharoah gave up control over us on Pesach, we were, and continue to remain, spiritually free.  And it's during the "night" we have the perfect opportunity to grow.

Have a wonderful Shabbos!