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Dvar Torah - Pesach 5775

Dear Mispallelim,

With the updating of the shul website, we are afforded the opportunity to share with you a Dvar Torah on Pesach. However, I would first like to thank those who spent countless hours of time they did not have, to make this a reality. Gershie Goldberg, Yisroel Goldstein, Moshe Levy, Shaya Shtern, Aaron Sonnenshein and Marcello Weiss, thank you!

There are two words that describe much of the upcoming Yom Tov - "Chometz" & "Matzo". Recently, someone commented, "The importance of Matzo is understandable, as it commemorates the Matzo we ate as we left Mitzrayim. Similarly, one can comprehend the emphasis that we place on the Seder, as it too serves not only as a commemoration of Yetzias Mitzrayim, but as an enabler to visualize and even relive the experience. But why the prohibition of Chometz? Why work so hard on something that we won't have? Why make it so difficult with all the intricate cleaning? Why isn't the positive commemoration enough?"

This is not the only place we find a focus on what we are removing. Bris milah also celebrates the removal of the Orla. The common denominator is that both are seemingly just removing something we don't want, and not giving us something we do want. However, in both instances, by removing that which we do not want, we emerge with something greater. In the case of Bris, by removing the Orla we are creating a "mahul", one who has Milah. And by Pesach, by watching the dough and removing any leavening agents, what emerges is the Matzo.

While it is true that we might relate better to the positive points of the Yom Tov, we need to remember that the Torah gives us very clear directives regarding how to create these positive parts. The "Aseh Tov" - "doing good" - must be preceded by the "sur miroh" - "avoiding bad". Not only will we be lacking the "sur miroh" if we skip that step, we will never achieve a true "aseh tov" without it.

This is an integral part of the Yom Tov. The Chometz symbolizes the Yeitzer Horah, and only by fighting the Yeitzer Horah can we produce the Matzo.

Since this is the debut Dvar Torah the Shul is sending via the internet it is only right that we focus on the internet in this light as well. While the internet certainly has alot of advantages, advantages that are too numerous to deliniate, we must approach  it with the same attitude with which we approach the Matzo. Through monitoring and filtering we can transform this mode of communication into a means of growth in Torah and Chesed.

May we all be Zoche speedily to a fulfillment of our yearly tefilla, "L'shona haba'ah b'Yerushalayim".

Wishing you a Chag Kosher V'someach,
Rabbi Charlop

Fri, December 1 2023 18 Kislev 5784