Friday, March 30, 2007

The Torah calls it "Chag Hamatzos" but we say "Pesach"

Reb Levi Yitzchak ben Sorah Sasha from Barditchev asks the following question in his Sefer Kedushas Levi, chelek beis, in the Sefer Hazechiros section on Zechiras Yitzias Mitzrayim.

He asks why it is that the Torah always calls Pesach, "Chag Hamatzos," but the Chachamim and we today always call it "Pesach?" This is in contradistinction to the other two Regalim. Shavuos is called by that name in the Torah (Devarim 16:16). Sukkos is called by that name in the Torah as well. But Pesach is different. Why?

He says that the love that exists between the Jewish people and Hashem is so great that we are constantly saying each others' praises. For instance, in our Teffilin, it says "Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad," so we're praising and declaring the oneness of Hashem. But in the Master of the World's Teffilin (kevayachol) it quotes the pasuk, "Mi k'amcha Yisroel, goy echad ba'aretz!" (Devarim 6:4) (Brachos 6a) So His enjoyment and glory is in singing the praises of His special people.

With this principal, Reb Levi Yitzchak answers the question he asked above. Hashem wrote the Torah, so in it, he refers to Pesach as "Chag Hamatzos," because the matzos are a reminder of the great love and trust that the Jewish people have for Hashem. The Jewish people were in such a rush to fulfill Hashem's command to leave Mitzrayim, even though they had virtually no provisions for the journey, they left right away without giving their bread time to rise. This is refered to in the pasuk in Yirmiyahu (2:2) "Zacharti lach chesed ne'uraich, lechtaich acharai bamidbar, b'eretz lo zarua." So Hashem continues to call Pesach "Chag Hamatzos," to continually tell over these praises of the Jewish people.

But we and Chazal refer to Pesach as "Pesach," because re're refering to the great chesed Hashem shows for the Jewish people when the pasuk says (Shmos 12:27) "asher posach al botei Bnei Yisrael..." that Hashem jumped over the houses of the Jewish people during makas bechoros [even though halalu ovdei avoda zara v'halalu ovdei avoda zara].

So we Jewish people calling it Pesach to sing Hashem's praises and Hashem calling it "chag Hamatzos" to sing our praises makes the Pesach story one big love story betwee Hashem and the Jewish people!

(Perhaps this is related to why we read Shir Hashirim on Pesach)

-Dixie Yid

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