Category Archives: Yom Tovim

Hagadah Shel Pesach

Hagadah Shel Pesach

(Based on Zera Shimshon Vol. 1  pg. 352 “hay”. )

This is what has stood by our fathers and us! For not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand! (Hagadah Shel Pesach)

The opening word “This” is referring to Hashem’s promise to Avraham Avinu at the Bris Bain HaBesorrim (The Covenant Between the Parts) mentioned in the previous paragraph.

At that time Hashem told Abraham that his descendants would be enslaved in a land not their own. Although they will suffer greatly, Hashem promised, they will not be totally wiped out but they will eventually leave.

In this paragraph the Hagadah tells us that in spite of Paroah’s intent to destroy us “this” promise protected us and continues to protect us from all nations that try to destroy us.

Zera Shimshon asks, Avraham was only promised that we would survive Mitzrayim. There was no promise, however, that H. would save us from all of the subsequent exiles. So how does the Hagadah know that “this promise” protects us in every generation?

His first answer is that even though that only Galus Mitzrayim is mentioned explicitly in the Bris Bain HaBesorrim there is also an allusion to the later exiles. Therefore the promise that we will eventually be saved also includes the rest of our exiles.

Zera Shimshon gives another explanation. At Bris Bain HaBesorrim Hashem decreed that our exile in Mitzrayim was to be 400 years. However after 210 years our suffering caused us to fall so deep into tummah that Hashem knew that if we would stay any longer in Mitzrayim we would “self destruct”.

Hashem therefore took us out 190 years early. However these years weren’t erased but rather we were still obligated to make up those 190 years through subsequent exiles.

Therefore, concludes Zera Shimshon, since the subsequent exiles are to complete the exile in Mitzrayim, the promise to protect us from annihilation in Mitzrayim  also includes all the subsequent exiles even until today.
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Megillas Esther

(Based on Zera Shimshon Vol. 1 pg. 313)

It says in Mesechta Megillah (11A) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak began (his drasha) on the Megillah by quoting the possuk (Tehilim 124/2) “If Hashem would not have been with us when a common man stood against us” – (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak explained) a common man and not a king.

The simple understanding of this Gemorro is that  Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak  explained that the reason that Divine intervention was needed at the time of Mordechai and Esther was that a commoner was the one that confronted us and not a king.

Zera Shimshon asks that is completely illogical! It would seem that a bigger miracle is needed when a king with his whole nation confronts Clal Yisroel than when a simple commoner confronts us. .

Zera Shimshon therefore explains that Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak explains the word adam (common person) in this possuk not as a common person that refers to  Haman, who was a simple commoner and not a king, but rather it is referring to the earthly side  of  the Jewish people, the part of us that the Yetzer Hora dwells (as opposed to our spiritual side).

At the time of the Purim Clal Yisroel bowed down to the idol of Nebuchanetzar. The Gemmoro explains that we only our outer limbs worshiped this idol but in our hearts and minds we still believed in HashemHashem, therefore, didn’t annihilate us for that sin.  However, if we would have believed in the idol when we worshipped it, then Hashem would have annihilated us.

We learn in Pirkei Avos that a sin brings on more sins. Meaning, that the tumah of a  sin effects us so much that usual result is to do more severe sins.

Therefore,  since that we started to worship the idol, even though only externally, then the tumah of that sin should have brought us to even more severe levels of idolatry until, Rachmona Litzlan, we would have worshipped the idol also in our hearts. This, chas v’sholom would have resulted in Hashem punishing us with annihilation .

Therefore  Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak began his drasha on Purim that we have to realize what the situation was then, and to thank Hashem  that H. saved us from our own actions (our Yetzer Hora) and stopped the downward spiral, that we ourselves started, that should have led to real idolatry worship and consequently to annihilation.

In the light of Zera Shimshon’s understanding of Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak, when we contemplate on the downward spiral of Clal Yisroel that started with the Enlightenment Movement, that didn’t directly object to keeping the Mitzvos but was nonetheless a slight sin, that ended in the near annihilation of our people in the Second World War we can understand and truly rejoice for the great miracle of Purim !

In the merit of learning the Zera Shimshon’s Torah on PurimHashem should send the great, complete, and final salvation to Clal Yisroel in general and a personal salvation to each individual member of  Clal Yisroel!