Pesach: The Immature Intellect

Well, THAT was an interesting way of spending my Saturday night!

I was just sitting there doing my work when my wife came in and informed me that Iran just launched a wave of what would be over 300 suicide drones, cruise, and ballistic missiles, all coming towards ... US!  It was strange knowing that we had hours until they came, and of course, Israeli society was ready to meet it head-on with comedy.  My wife belongs to a WhatsApp group for the news in the northern part of Israel, and it was immediately flooded with memes, like “While we’re staying up all night anyhow, can we have our Seder now?” and with different cooking ideas based on how much time you have per weapon to arrive to Israel.  I finished my work around 12:30 a.m., and sat with my wife and oldest daughter, who were saying Tehillim (the number one Googled thing in Israel at the time) and eventually lay down and slept for 30 minutes, until my wife woke me up with “There are rockets in the sky!”

We ran to our balcony and received a splendid show. I remember seeing the Scuds in Iraq when I was younger, on television, thousands of kilometers away.  And here I am now, only tens of kilometers away from target zones.  Thankfully, none came our way (which insulted me greatly... what? I'm not good enough to be targeted???)  The explosions of the ballistic missiles were amazing, different colors of ripples in the atmosphere, and our hearts sunk when we saw one coming in and exploding in the Golan.  And of course, in the end, not one Jew was harmed.  Several Muslims were killed and injured, but from over 300 flying bombs made to kill Jews?  How could this NOT be a miracle.

What was just as staggering was the cost.

As you know, the politicians love to bring up the amount of money the Ultra-Orthodox are sucking out of the annual budget.  That amount, in last year's budget, accounted for 1.5 billion shekels.  That being 0.27% of the annual budget.  Yeah. Interesting how it’s such a big deal.  However, thirty minutes of air defense, cost us around 3.5 – 4 billion shekels.  Just to put things in perspective.

Okay, on to more important things...

The Kedushas Levi writes regarding the “Wise Son” ….

“All the mitzvos that we observe on this night are meant to commemorate the miracles performed for us by G-d.  When a person apprehends G-d through miracles, this is called ‘immature intellect.’  But after his mind matures and he grasps his Creator using his intellect, he is referred to as “Wise.”  Such a person asks, “What need do I have for these testimonies, decrees and laws of Pesach?”

The ”immature intellect” is something that is picked up through miracles in our world.  We see something that goes beyond nature and we are amazed by it.  It’s called “immature,” however, because we view nature as a “limit” and we are now seeing the Divine breach that barrier.

The “mature intellect” views G-d not through the lenses of creating and limitation, but as He truly transcends creation and all limitations.  So, miracles don’t really impress such a person, because OF COURSE Hashem works without any limit!

This is why the Wise Son asks, “What need to I have for these testimonies, decrees, and laws of Pesach?”  Why do I need to have all these reminders of the “immature intellect”?  I’m beyond that!  I don’t need to remember the miracles!

So, what do we answer him?  “One is not to provide any dessert after the Pesach offering.”

Every person has his ups and downs in life.  The Wise Son is no different.  We tell him that we must always have the “taste” of Pesach in our mouths and always remember such miracles.  Perhaps, when we are on a spiritual upswing, we might not need to remember, but during the inevitable downswings, we must remember the miracles and let that “lower-end” intellect keep us from falling further.

With that, I wish you all a wonderful and quiet Shabbos and Pesach!