National Board Dvar Torah: Pesach

Posted on April 27, 2016
Phillip Dolitsky, National Ambassador of Education, Atlantic Seaboard NCSY

Phillip Dolitsky, National Ambassador of Education, Atlantic Seaboard NCSY

Imagine John has a terrible tooth ache going into Shabbos. He takes an advil and that seems to ease his pain Friday night. But the pain comes back worse on Shabbos. Medicine doesn’t help. By Sunday, John is in excruciating pain, and decides he must see the dentist. Slight problem; the dentist doesn’t work on Sunday. Nevertheless, he calls the dentist.

“Dr. you must see me today. I am in such pain, I can barely eat, and talking hurts,” John proclaims.

“Ok, I’ll see you today John, but know that because this is an emergency, it will be expensive,” the dentist replied.

“That’s fine, I don’t care how much it costs! Just fix my tooth!”

John races to the dentist’s office. After a brief look, the dentist realizes that John will need a root canal. He quickly gets to work and after an hour or so, John’s pain is nonexistent.

“That’ll be $2000 John,” the dentist said.

“Oh come on Doc, can’t we negotiate?” John replied.

Just before the operation, John agreed to pay any price to have his pain taken away. But once his pain went away, once he regained freedom from pain, he forgot the agreement he made with his dentist, and began negotiating the cost. Why?

Perhaps it’s the same reason that as the Jews are leaving Egypt, Hashem commands them with Pesach. Shemos 13:5 says, “And it will come to pass that the Lord will bring you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites, which He swore to your forefathers to give you a land flowing with milk and honey and you shall perform this service in this month.” But why must Hashem command this to them specifically now? Surely they would know they had to keep Pesach, especially since Hashem previously commanded them to keep Pesach.

Perhaps the Torah is teaching us that when we are removed from times of suffering, when we regain freedom, we easily forget. We easily forget all the times our parents have gotten us out of tough times, we easily forget how a Madrich, Madricha or Advisor got us through rough times and we all too often forget how Hashem saves us each and every day. Therefore, the Torah comes along and says that after any time of salvation, make note that you must thank those who helped you through those tough times. Go find that someone, give them a big hug, and say thanks.