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Korban Pesach a Symbol of Unity

March 14, 2013
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The korban Pesach is quite unique and very different from all other korbonos. First of all it must be roasted over a fire. It must be eaten only by a group that has joined together beforehand. One is not permitted to break any bones in order to eat the marrow within them.

All these special laws are a sign of togetherness or unity. Roasting solidifies a food while cooking breaks it apart. The only way to gain true freedom is to join together and become one. Labor unions have proven the power of solidarity. There is no greater power then when Jews are united as one people. This is the meaning of “vayhei b’yeshuron melech b’hisasef roshei om yachad shiftei Yisroel.” Only when there is peace and unity amongst us does G-d reign over us, is how Rashi explains this posuk. (See Devorim 33: 5) There is no greater strength then the power of togetherness. “Hnei matov u’mah noim sheves achim gam yo’chad.” There is nothing as beautiful and enjoyable as achdus - togetherness. The seder table includes all four sons even the wicked one.

Unfortunately we suffer greatly because we have become so fragmentized. While the Baal Shem Tov’s dream was to join all Jews together by showing great love for every Jew no matter who he was, from where he came, what color be his skin and no matter what his learning level was, his great dream has unfortunately remained unfulfilled.

We have been fragmentized into hundreds of parts and even broken each others bone’s in struggles for power, money and other foolishness. The hatred and strife between different groups of Jews including chassidim has not improved much since the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh nearly two thousand years ago. The fires of sinos chinom are still raging everywhere without any sign of dying out. They reach from the low shrubs to the highest mountains.

How many more years of golus must we suffer before we get to our senses and realize that the basis of the entire Torah lies in “V’ohavta l’reiacha ko’mocha.” – loving others as much as ourselves. Rabbi Akiva’s students suffered a great tragedy when 24,000 of them died in a terrible plague sometime between Pesach and Sh’vuos. The Gemara tells us that it was because they failed to respect each other properly. We still mourn for them today by making a few external changes but do little to actually change internally. We must begin to realize that Jewish unity is the basis of our survival. The Gemara tells us that despite the Jews serving idols in the time of King Achov, his army was victorious in all their battles only an account of the great unity there existed amongKlal Yisroel.

While we certainly must admonish the sinful, it must be done with great love rather then in hate. Words of hate bounce right back at oneself while words of love enter another person’s heart as chazal say “devorim ha’yotzim min ha’lev, nichnosim el ha’lvev.” – words that come out from the heart enter into the heart. If we want our words to be listened to, let’s try saying them with heart rather than with hate, with love rather than rage!

Only by joining together and holding each other’s hand and living in peace and harmony with one another can we merit that Hashem extradite us from this long dark and bitter golus. May it be sooner rather then later.

This post was written by

Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum – who has written  posts on My Western Wall.
Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum Z”L, an ultra-Orthodox educator and innovator who created a series of dial-in phone lines with lectures on sacred texts, passed away March 23, 2008 at the age of 68. Rabbi Teitelbaum pioneered the now-popular concept of a subscription phone service that allowed users to listen over the phone to lectures on the Talmud with his Dial-a-Daf service, founded over 20 years ago. Since the system was computerized 15 years ago, it has handled more than 5 million calls. Rabbi Teitelbaum grew up in Queens, the son of Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Teitelbaum, and later moved to the Boro Park section of Brooklyn. He taught sacred texts for nearly 40 years in the primary school of the Yeshiva-Mesivta Torah Temimah in Brooklyn, where he was also director of curriculum. Teitelbaum founded and ran Camp S’dei Chemed International summer camp in Israel. Friends described Rabbi Teitelbaum as relentlessly energetic and constantly writing articles, developing new projects and dispensing advice. He even learned judo. He wrote on subjects ranging from fraud and Ponzi schemes to Intelligent Design (in which he believed) and modern technology. A family member said that Teitelbaum would often bring a pen and paper along to weddings so that he could write in his spare moments.

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