Rabbi's Message

  • March 13, 2015


             At the beginning of the Maggid section of our Sedarim, we will be singing, “Kol dichfin yaisay v’yaichol, Kol ditzrich yaisay v’yifsach – Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat. Whoever is needy, let him come and celebrate Passover.” This traditional expression of openness, of brotherhood and responsibility, certainly seems to encapsulate the essence of what being part of the Jewish People is all about, but why is it proclaimed here? It is well-known that exceptional interpersonal behavior is a hallmark of Judaism, but on Pesach night we are focused elsewhere, namely, examining the fundamentals of faith. The Pesach Seder, and by extension, the Haggada, is dedicated to detailing the liberation of body and soul from the Egyptian exile. Where does tzedaka, charity, fit in? Why not focus on some other mitzvos right at the commencement of this classic commemoration?  

    It has been explained that the abovementioned declaration is directing us to the origins of our belief, and at the same time, to the basis of the Galus Mitzrayim, the exile in Egypt. Upon thinking back to the early history of our people, before we were even a nation, we confront the source of the exile in a fight, the fight between Yosef haTzaddik, the righteous Joseph, and his brothers. It was their quarrel that eventually, through a strange sequence of events, brought Yaakov Avinu, our forefather Jacob, and his entire family to Egypt. This directly led to the Jews settling there, and ultimately becoming enslaved to Pharoh. With this statement of ‘kol dichfin,’ the Haggada is hinting to the fact that it was a lack of arvus and achdus, a sense of responsibility and family harmony, that brought about disaster. At the beginning of our Seder we reject that act of the brothers so long ago, and fix the mistake they made with our actions of tzedaka, demonstrating that we have learned from the past. 

    In our community, we want to make sure that ‘kol dichfin’ is taken care of before Seder night. If you have room at the Seder table for extra guests, or conversely, you need a place to go for the Seder, please call our Seder coordinator, Marilyn Bielory at 973.379.4778. Let’s all assist Marilyn is this mission, and pave the way for the end of our galus, our exile, with kindness.

    Have a great Shabbos.