Wednesday, April 30, 2008
How the Mitzvah of Matzah Repairs Blemishes in All Areas of "Eating"
This idea comes from the Koidinov Hagaddah, compiled from all of the Admorim of Koidinov by the current Koidinover Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Tzvi Mayer Erlich, Shltia, D"H "Ha lachma Anya." I have to thank Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin for indirectly causing me to have the zechus of getting ahold of this haggadah.
As we make our way out of Mitzrayim, Egypt, and towards Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah, it is worthwhile to think about what the Galus, exile, of Mitzrayim was there to repair.
The first blemish man created within himself was in the realm of eating, when Adam and Chava ate from the Eitz Hada'as Tov v'ra, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad. After that, the generation of the flood caused another blemish in mankind, and after them, the generation of the dispersion caused another blemish. Rav Aharon of Koidinov, the grandson of the first Koidinover Rebbe, who was the grandson of Rav Mordechai of Lechovitch said that the purpose of the Egyptial Exile was to repair this blemish in the area of eating. And that Jewish boys being thrown into the Nile repaired the blemish caused by the generation of the flood. And by the Jews working with mortar and bricks, the blemish caused by the generation of the dispersion, whose sin was through building the tower of Bavel, was repaired. (This part is based on Likutei Torah by the Arizal, Parshas Shmos). Rav Aharon also taught, from the Sidur of the Arizal, that by the mitzva of eating matza, we repair the sin of Adam eatinf from the Eitz HaDaas.
And he teaches that this same tikun is applicable in our generation. When we eat matzah, we can repair all types of blemishes that we have brought upon ourselves that come under the rubric of "eating."
He points out that certainly problems with actual eating fall into this category. Also, he says that problems with kedusha in the area of marital intamacy are included in the concept of "eating." We see this from the fact that the pasuk uses this the concept of eating as a euphamism with regard to Potifar's appointment of Yosef over all of his affairs except, "halechem asher hu ocheil," the bread that he eats (Breishis 39:6). Also, he says that speech is part of the concept of eating, which can be seen from the fact that "speaking" is also used as a euphamism of martial initmacy, which, as we just said, is included in the concept of "eating." This can be seen from the fact that the Mishna, in Kesubos 13a, says "ראוה מדברת עם אחד," which Rav Asi there translates as "נבעלה."
And by eating matza on the night of the Seder, one is mesaken the blemishes one has caused through the three categories of activity, which fall under the rubric of "eating;" actual eating, marital intimacy and speech.
And this is the pshat in the phrase, "הא לחמנא עניא די אכלו אבהתנא בארעא דמצרים," "This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Mitzrayim," that we say at the beginning of the Seder. The word "ארעא," "land" actually comes from the root meaning "רצון," "desire," as in the phrase used to refer to Shalosh Sheudos, "רעוא דרעווין," which means "רצון שברצון," "desire of desires."
We also know that Mitzrayim actually refers to meitzarim, which means "borders" or limitations. So when we say that our fathers ate this bread in the land of mitzrayim, we're also saying that we used to eat bread (engage in the 3 types of activities which fall under the category called "eating") when our ratzon, our desires, were in meitzarim, limited and bound. And it was this level of stunted desire that caused us to be blemished in the way we ate, were involved in the marital relationship and spoke.
And it is through the mitzvah of achilas Matzah, eating matzah that we can completely repair these blemishes that exist within us in the areas called "eating."
May it be Hashem's will that through the mitzva of achilas Matzlah, both in the Pesach that we just completed, and the Pesachim to come, that we fulfill the mitzva of eating matzah with all of its tikunim and desired benefits!
(Picture courtesy of mediaisgoodforyou.blogspot.com)
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