Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Avodah of Pesach

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I want to share something that Rav Efraim Twerski said at his Shabbos HaGadol drasha. After starting off with 10 questions Rav Twerski said over an amazing Torah from Rav Shimon Shkop zt’l that served as the focal point of the drasha. Rav Shimon asks why the Amidah starts with Elokai Avraham, Elokai Yitchak, v’lokai Yaakov, yet it ends with Magen Avraham. Rav Shimon’s answer is that Hashem doesn’t want us to follow the avodah of our parents/grandparents by rote. Yitzchak and Yaakov learned to serve Hashem based on the actions of their and grandfather, respectively. Avraham sought Hashem on his own and built a relationship that was uniquely his his. . Thus, the “shield of Avraham” is the zechus that we will find a relationship with Hashem that is “ours” and not solely a mirror of what our parents did. Rav Shimon states that Moshiach will not come due to a generation that operates and serves Him by rote, but by those that didn’t and don’t relay 100% on modeling their avodah from others. We can use zechus Avos as a foundation, but if build an avodah that is exactly like our parents, teachers, or friends then it isn’t “our” avodah, it’s not a personal relationship with Hashem.

Rav Twerski brought numerous proofs for this from all spectrums of Torah, but he said that building our own personal and unique relationship with Hashem was the purpose of leaving Mitzrayim and a prerequisite for receiving the Torah. It’s the whole focus and purpose of the Seder. The emphasis on Hashem taking us out of Egypt that is connected to so many mitzvos and brachos is the clarion call [my words] to build that unique and personal relationship with Hashem.

Note: Any mistakes in relaying this are solely my own due to writing this on Sunday.