Shvii Shel Pesach | Rabbi Pinchos Doppelt

5784 – שביעי של פסח -LETS BE REAL

לע״נ שמואל בן מאיר צבי

Toward the end of Chol Hamoed, I was speaking to a friend of mine and he said a statement. He said that “Pesach is winding down”, but he immediately caught himself and exclaimed “ we can still chap arein”. When I heard this I got a jerk, as I realized that there may be an attitude that perhaps many of us have that can cool us down at the last days of Pesach. Let’s explore שביעי של פסח which also includes the amazing day of אחרון של פסח.

Someone told me that he once went to a business show and he noticed something interesting. He noticed that on day number three of the show [at the last day] there were many booths and attendees that were gone, as it was tapering down. He was wondering why it was like that?

However, if you pay attention you will notice that this is how it is in many different venues as well. As the end approaches people start disappearing by the masses. It would seem that the conclusion isn’t of much importance.

However, when it comes to רוחניות it’s not like that at all. On the contrary, the ending is the most crucial part. Here are just a few examples.

נעילה of Yom Kippur is the most crucial Tefilla of Yom Kippur. In fact the Seforim tell us that it’s the culmination of the ימים נוראים and all our Tefillos since Elul ascend to Shomayim.

שמיני עצרת – This day is the climax of all the Yomim tovim. It’s the time that we can attain the deepest connection with Hashem.

עלינו לשביח – The Mishna Brura brings down the words of the Zohar that uses wording that the Zohar itself uses in regards to the Seder night. That is, that Hashem comes with his פמליא של מעלה to listen to his praises. If you think about it it’s mind boggling. There is a sad joke said in the name of Reb Shlomo Zalman that עלינו לשביח is considered תפלת הדרך as people say it on their way out. How tragic.

אנעים זמירות – It is said in the name of the Vilna Gaon in regards to אנעים זמירות that there is no שבח so beautiful as that one. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t get its proper due. If that’s the case why did our Chachamim put עלינו and אנעים זמירות at the conclusion? Why didn’t they put it right in the middle or at the beginning?

Based on what we are saying it’s very understood. Since the conclusion is the highlight, the climax as we explained, therefore, they saved the most beautiful tefilla for the end of davening. This is its rightful place. However, the Yetzer Hara knows this fundamental concept as well, and he takes us for a ride, and we need to fight back with all our might.

My Grandfather Reb Shmuel ben Reb Meir Tzvi [whose Yartzeit is today Erev Yom Tov] was a man of principal. He would always come early to davening and stay to the very end. His motto in life was “that we don’t cut corners in Yiddishkeit. Our job is to fulfill Hashem’s will until the very end”.

Unfortunately, we see that many Bnei Yeshiva may have a setback at the end of the Zman, and there is even a name for it. It’s called “סוף זמן”. The truth is that every Seder has an end to it as well and the last few minutes may be a struggle as the Yetzer hara is hard at work. That’s because he understands the chashivus of the last few minutes.

This brings us to שביעי של פסח – the climax of Pesach. Before we begin, let us review a snippet of the days leading up to שביעי של פסח.

Preparing for Pesach – Starting from Purim (some people Chanuka) we started cleaning up our house. Many people also started learning the halachos during these thirty days as it’s brought down in halacha. Many Yidden are preoccupied with baking their Matzos as well. As it gets closer people start turning over their house, and the marathon begins. Whether it’s the constant shopping, intense cleaning, selling the Chametz and everything in between.

Seder night – ברוך שהחיינו, we made it to the Seder and we are hopefully totally Chametz free. Then we go through the Seder night with all its mitzvos, especially the mitzva of סיפור יציאת מצרים. We need to entertain our children and to bring the story of יציאת מצרים to life. Many of us are still tired and worn out from the strenuous cleaning and בדיקת חמץ, as we struggle to remain awake.

The following night we do it all over again. The Matza, the Marror, the Afikomen and everything in between. Everyone understands what a tremendous avoda goes into this. This is despite the fact that Yom Tov sheini is מדרבנן and despite that we have a calendar. אשריכם ישרא-ל, we can only imagine how much of a nachas ruach we give our Father in heaven.

Chol hamoed – One thing is for sure it’s no picnic or vacation as we are running around trying to please our children and giving them the Simchas Yom tov they demand. So we go into Galus as we travel around the country spending the rest of our money, [whatever was left over from Pesach].

Now we are standing right before שביעי של פסח and some people may be thinking (perhaps subconsciously) “It’s almost over, I am worn out, let’s just get through this Yom tov and get back to normal”. [Perhaps they are anticipating their pizza r”l as well].

This is such an enormous fundamental mistake. The Chiddushe Harim and the Zohar seem to say the same thing (the way its interpreted). They say that שביעי של פסח is the most important part of all of Pesach. As we explained previously, that the end is usually the highlight, the climax we can understand this beautifully.

Furthermore, the Vilna Gaon and others (I believe it’s in the Yerushalmi as well) say that the ultimate part of יציאת מצרים happened at the ים סוף. The Vilna Gaon explains that the ביזת הים that Hashem promised to Avraham at the ים סוף was on שביעי של פסח, not the treasures that they walked out with at יציאת מצרים.

Now I ask you, imagine this scenario. Imagine as the Yidden are wandering in the desert during these seven days, and a small group of Yidden get tired. So they say to themselves “we just went through so much. Let’s break away for a couple of days and freshen ourselves and we will meet up with them when we are ready.

Two days later Hashem preforms the greatest miracles ever, splitting the sea and punishing the Mitzriyim with two hundred and fifty Makkos (according to one view). The Yidden are brought across with splendor and they experience the love of Hashem as the Midrashim teach us. Hashem made twelve crystal paths for them. There were fruit trees and freshwater available as the Midrash teaches us. The floor looked like the most beautiful marble ever.

At the Yam suf the Yidden saw such revelations that even Yecheskel Hanavi didn’t see. They reached such a high level in נבואה that they all burst forth with hearts full of joy the אז ישיר that we say each day, as we are supposed to try to tap in each day as its brought down in משנה ברורה. The love and fear of Hashem that they felt then was legendary.

At that time the Yidden were bursting with love as they said the famous words of זה קלי ואנוהו. There is so much depth in these words. I would like to highlight two Pshatim. These words include the desire to beautify all the Mitzvos, and they also include the desire to make a Bais Hamikdash for Hashem as well.

Going back to our Mashal, can we imagine the sorrow and regret these Yiddin would feel when they find out what they missed out when they broke off to freshen up. They have missed out an opportunity of getting such a historic revelation and Shira that was an historic one time event like no other. They missed the true ביזת הים, which is the high levels of Emuna that they attained.

We need to realize that if we cop out at this time of שביעי של פסח perhaps we have had a wonderful Seder experience and we had the first part of יציאת מצרים but we can miss out on part two. That is the culmination of יציאת מצרים, the climax as we explained.

Some people may be wondering as follows. “At the first days of Pesach I had material to work with as its packed with Mitzvos, but what can I do the last days, as there isn’t much to do”?

So let me give two insights, and one leads to the next. Firstly, we need to understand the essence of Yom tov itself. Yom tov is a time that we spend with Hashem as we connect with Him. It can be through learning and davening and our Seudos as well. Connecting with our families and friends with love is also a way to connect to Hashem. Keeping the Melachos of Yom Tov is showing Hashem [and ourselves] that we are subservient to Him.

However, it goes even deeper than that, which pertains to every Yom Tov especially the Yom tov of Pesach. Pesach is known as the חג הגאולה. Not just because we were redeemed on this Yom tov, but because the Geula that we are waiting for is supposed to come on this Yom tov.

We know that Moshiach can come at any given day. However, the עת רצון on Pesach is enormous as the light of redemption is shining bright on Pesach. The Ramchal and others expound on this concept that the light of Geula is brilliant on Pesach. This makes Pesach a tremendous עת רצון to bring Moshiach. Generally speaking, since on Yom tov we are very close to Hashem, therefore, it’s much easier to bring the Geula .

Especially at a time like this when the world is storming like never before, and the signs of Moshiach are right in front of us, how can we squander such a tremendous עת רצון? We weren’t zoche to bring the Korban Pesach but we can still utilize this שביעי של פסח to daven for the Geula.

Action – Here are some ideas how to utilize the last days of Pesach.
1. So this שביעי של פסח we can firstly spend Yom Tov being close to Hashem through Torah, Tefilla and Seudos full of Zemiros and peace.

2. Learn about the Nissim of Kriyas yam suf and tell it over at the Seuda. There are books and seforim that elaborate on the Nissim that took place at the Yam suf. We should then praise Hashem for all his constant chassadim. Talk about Hashem’s goodness

3. Say the שירה with utmost joy and we should commit ourselves to say it all through the year with joy as it’s brought down in the משנה ברורה.

4. This past Shabbos we read the שיר השירים. If you study it well you will see that it’s packed with love and yearning that Hashem Has for us and the love and yearning we have for Hashem. This is the essence of Pesach. It’s a time of immense love between Klal Yisroel and His nation.

Therefore a great deal of the last days as we are spending the last days of Pesach connecting with Hashem we should be begging Hashem for Moshiach. Especially, when we finish the Shira and we conclude with the words והי’ ה’ למלך על כל הארץ ביום ההוא יהי’ ה’ אחד ושמו אחד -. May we see each other in Yirushalayim with the Bais Hamikdash hashlishis very soon אמן.

חג כשר ושמח

פינחס הלוי דאפפעלט


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