Not Lonely- Only!
Reb Levi Yitzchok from Berdichov ztl. in Kedushas Levi expresses wonder why
we call, for all time, that holiday when we all gather together to munch
Matzos - “Pesach”. We don’t find in the whole Torah that that time has such
a title. Rather it is repeatedly referred to as, “The Festival of Matzos’.
Where do we find an allusion to the fact that it should be called “Pesach”?
The hint may be found, according to Reb Levi Yitzchok, in Shir HaShirim
(6:3) which we read aloud in Schul on Shabbos during Pesach. There it is
written, “I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me!” He explains that we
sing the high praise of our beloved, HASHEM, while HASHEM sings the praise
of His Beloved, Israel.
Why is the holiday of “Pesach” aptly referred to as the “Festival of
Matzos”? That’s HASHEM’s praise of Israel, as it written, “They baked the
dough that they took out of Egypt into cakes of Matzos, for they could not
be leavened, for they were driven out of Egypt for they could not delay, and
also they had not made provisions for themselves. (Shemos 12:39)
Rashi explains the words, “They had not made provisions for themselves”: for
the journey. This (verse) tells the praise of Israel that they did not say,
“How can we go out to the wilderness without provisions?” Rather they
believed and went. That is what is stated in the Prophets, “I remembered
your favor for the kindness of your youth, the love when you were a bride,
your following Me in the desert, in a land not sown.” What is the reward
stated clearly after this? “Israel is holy to HASHEM etc.” (Yirmiyahu 2:2-3)
The Nation of Israel is remembered for all time in glowing terms for living
with ultimate trust as they fearlessly strode onto the stage of history,
into a wilderness of unknowns, and without provisions.
Why do we appropriately call that “Festival of Matzos” “Pesach”? We are
singing the praise of what HASHEM has done for us, as
it is written, “It shall be that when your children will say to you, “What
is this service to you?” You shall say, “It is a Pesach feast offering to
HASHEM, who skipped over (Pesach) the houses of the Children of Israel in
Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but he save our households.” (Shemos
12:26-27) We recall and remain forever grateful and for having dodged
deadly bullets throughout and including the concluding moments of the exile
in Egypt, and that our households were spared the fate of the Egyptian
culture, while we survived.
So it is we find in the Talmud (Brochos 6A) a similar profound notion. After
being informed the G-d, so to speak, dons Tefillin, the obvious question is
prompted. “We know what we have written in our Tefillin, “SHEMA YISRAEL…Hear
O’ Israel HASHEM is our G-d, HASHEM is ONE!” but what could be written in
HASHEM’s Tefillin? What’s behind the question? Sure it would not be
unexpected to find that bride carries a picture in her amulet of her groom.
How odd would it be if we could peer into the locket of the groom and
discover there is a picture of the groom himself! What then might we expect
to be scripted and bound onto the mind and heart of The Almighty?
The Talmud says that HASHEM has written the verse, “Who is like your people
Israel, one nation on the earth!?” (Divre’ HaYamim I 7:21). There again we
see our declaration of HASHEM’s oneness while HASHEM’s expresses our
uniqueness and/or oneness?
What does the mutually declaration of “oneness” mean? There’s an old song,
“one is the loneliest number” I can understand that, but I think the Torah
means to say here, not lonely- only!
DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.