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Parshat Tzav

By: Other

The first Rashi of this week's Parsha explains that the word Tzav comes to teach us the idea of Zerizut. It is appropriate that  Parshat Tzav is always the Parsha that is read on Shabbat Hagadol because this idea of Zerizut is a prevalent theme of Pesach. The first place we see this theme is in the first Mishnah of Pesach which tells us that our Pesach obligations begin even before the holiday starts. The question is why do our obligations start early? What is this teachig us?

Many Midreshet girls have just returned from Poland. While there, they visited the kever of Rav Elimelech of Lozhinz. One of Rav Elimelech's greatest Talmidim was Rabbi Yisrael of Koznitz, the Magid of Koznitz. In the  Magid's sefer Avodat Yisroel , he discusses the  following very appropriate idea of Pesach.  For every other holiday we use the term Mikra Kodesh, that through our Kriah, the "calling" of the holiday, we establish and instill it with holiness. On Pesach, our Kedusha does not only start with a Kriah at the begining of the holiday. The  Kedusha of Pesach is automatic and will start with or without our contribution.  This idea comes from the Pasuk relating to Pesach which states Ki Ba Chipazon Yatza Mimitzrayim. Our leaving Mitzrayim was immediate, one moment we were slaves and then in an instant we were free. Therefore, the Kedusha of the Chag of Pesach will come automatically at the onset of the Chag. When we relive the moments of Yetziat Mitzrayim, the Kedusha is instilled immediately and automaticlally. Based on the teachings of the Magid, the start of the the Chag and the installation of the Kedusha within the day is not the result of our efforts, but something that happens automatically.

Therefore, for us to become invested in the holines of Pesach we cannot take an active role merely from the start of Pesach because the Kedusha will come withor without our efforts. This idea is exemplified by the first Mishnah of Masechet Pesachim. The Mishnah establishes the startof our obligations for Pesach before it even begins. Furthermore, the Halachah states that even a month before, we should begin learning and understanding the laws of Pesach.

But why is it important that we start early, why is it not enough just to experience the Kedusha that is instilled by Hashem on the day itself? The Magid explains that the essence of Pesach is the establishment of a relationship between us and Hashem. The basis of any true relationship is that both sides actively contribute and give to each other. The Kedusha of Pesach is automatic so the way that we can contribute to this budding realationship with our creator is to prepare early so  that we are ready when Hashem establishes the Kedusha of Pesach.




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