Bo 5778

RABBI SHLOMO NUSSBAUM

The first Korban Pesach which was brought in Mitzrayim included a Halacha regarding the fashion in which it would be eaten. It had to be eaten with utmost Chipazon, haste. The Torah specifically required that the meal be eaten hurriedly. What was the reason for this unusual Mitzvah? More simply put, why the rush?
The Mechilta (Bo Parsha 7) discusses the reasons for the aforementioned haste and concludes, “Abba Chanan in the name of Rebbe Elazar says, this is hurrying for the Shechina. Even though there is no proof for this, there is a Scriptural reference to this. ‘The voice of my beloved: behold it is coming, springing upon the mountains’ (Shir Hashirim 2:8).” The Mechilta continues, “I would think that even in the future redemption this should apply; However, the Pasuk (Yeshaya 52:12) says, ‘You will not leave with Chipazon.’”
What indeed is the underlying difference between the redemption from Mitzrayim and the future redemption? The Kli Yakar explains that regarding the exodus from Mitzrayim, the Pasuk (Shemos 13:21) says, “And Hashem went before them during the day…,” which sounds like the Shechina was specifically in front of them but not behind them. This is because they were originating in Mitzrayim, a land steeped in immorality and Tumah, certainly not an appropriate place for Hashem’s Shechina. In such a situation, it can only be proper to rush to meet the Shechina. In the current Galus, however, the Shechina is already with us always. Even as we emerge from Galus, there is no reason to rush.
What a powerful perspective into the transition that was Yetzias Mitzrayim! Mitzrayim was anathema to being a Jew. It was there that the Jewish people needed to be formed into their future identity. Mitzrayim is likened to the iron kiln in which the metal is forged. Once they were freed, they became Hashem’s people. The Pesukim are full of the praise of the relationship that was forged as they departed into the vast uninhabitable desert, relying solely upon Hashem’s grace.
From that point on, even in the darkness of Galus, there is no reason to hurry out. Even that dark hour is a part of Bnei Yisrael’s relationship with Hashem. Perhaps dark and challenging, but still replete with meaning as a necessary building block in Klal Yisrael’s identity.
The Mitzvah we received at that time was to begin counting time from that month. The world’s time begins with the Creation. But our existence was not complete at that time. For us, time began with our connection to Hashem.
The Sfas Emes explains that the Mitzvah of having Chodoshim, months, is because the root of the word Chodesh is Chodosh, new. Newness is unattainable in the physical realm, as every situation is just a repackaging of the same old, same old Creation. There is a principle that anything done for thirty days becomes part of someone’s nature. Hence, someone who lives in a place for thirty days is considered to be a resident of that place and is obligated in Mezuza, Bedikas Chametz, etc.
The Jew never wants any part of himself to be there “just because.” Every time we hit that thirty day mark, we reassess and rededicate. We remind ourselves that the new month that’s arriving is a brand new excursion in our life’s journey with Hashem. Every part if it is deliberate, and not just an effect of the world’s natural course.