Praisworthy Pesach

Chazal point out to us that when Klal Yisrael came together in a disorganized fashion (e.g the elders together with the youngsters, but without any honor given to the elders) it is symptomatic of Klal Yisrael being up to no good (See Rashi Devarim 1:22). Yet the Chasam Sofer brings from earlier sources that when Klal Yisrael brought offerings in the Beis Hamikdash, there was no order or preference given. He explains the reason behind this was to show that in as far as serving Hashem we all have an equal opportunity.

One of the halachas of the Seder night is that one is not permitted to recline in the presence of his principal Rebbe (“rebbe muvhak”) or the gadol hador. Being that this is the case, there are those who question how could Rebbe Akiva have reclined at his seder in Bnei Brak, since he was in the presence of his teachers and the gedolei hador?

There is an answer which I heard once based on this Chasam Sofer, that a person can achieve on Seder night the same level as the greatest of Jews, and this gives him permission to recline. The Chasam Sofer explains that in the well-known phrase “kol hamarbe lisaper…” (one who increases the telling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt is praiseworthy), that the word “meshubach” (praiseworthy) means that you have upgraded the kiyum of this mitzvah. Here, the Chasam Sofer says that one can actually upgrade himself to become like those greats of Klal Yisrael through his fulfilling the commandment of telling the story of the Exodus.

Upon seeing this Chasam Sofer, I sat and tried to understand what message that the Chasam Sofer is trying to relay to us. I would like to suggest that aside from the special energies which Hashem instills on those who try to perform mitzvos, the key to success in every aspect of life is emunah. Through the mitzvah of the telling of the story of the Exodus on the Seder night, we actualize this emunah, each participant on his own level. The more one is involved in the telling of the story, the greater amount of emunah the participant will acquire. This will give him the ability to reach his potential on this night, in as much as a gadol b’yisrael does. This can then carry over throughout the year, elevating one to achieve greater levels in his avodas Hashem.

May we merit throughout the entire holiday of Pesach when we eat our matzah, which is called the “bread of Emunah” to fortify ourselves with emunah, enabling us to access our full potential that we should truly be meshubach – praiseworthy.