Nisan is the month of Redemption. In Nisan they were
redeemed, and in Nisan they will be redeemed (Rosh
Hashonoh 11a). This is our history and this is the
promise of the future.
Our Torah is a Torah of Redemption. Its goal and focus is to
bring us to the state of Geulah.
Torah is not bound by place or time, but the mitzvos are very
much a part of the physical world. The full range of mitzvos
are applicable only when there is a full Geulah. For
many mitzvos, there is no substitute when we are in
golus. There is only one Mikdosh. There is only
one Eretz Yisroel. For all mitzvos that are centered
around these, there is no compromise with golus.
The Torah wants us to live a particular way. If we cannot
live the life of purity and holiness with the Beis
Hamikdash as our focus that the Torah prescribes, then
the entire concepts of taharoh and kedushoh are
simply not part of our lives. There is no memorial to living
a life without tum'oh.
In the time of the Beis Hamikdash, the laws of
tum'oh and taharoh were a constant, pervasive
part of life for many of our ancestors. People who became
tomei had to watch what they touched, and where they
sat or lay down. People who were tohor had to guard
against the many possible sources of tum'oh. Of course
the purity that was thereby incorporated into their lives
gave them a spiritual level that we probably cannot even
imagine. But now this is completely gone from our lives.
Chazal did not even prescribe something to do to remind us of
this part of Torah.
There is, perhaps, one night in the year that gives us a
taste of what full Geulah is: the Seder night. That is
the night that Chazal say that we must see ourselves as
having just left Mitzrayim, the first golus. We are
out, but we are fresh from our servitude and not fully free
of all its remnants.
The Seder night is the only time in the year that we have a
physical reminder of the korbonos: the zero'a
in memory of the Korbon Pesach, and even a reminder of
the Korbon Chagigah in the roasted egg. This
korbon was brought on all three chagim (hence
the name "chag"), but we only have a physical reminder
of it on the Seder night.
The Seder is the only time of the year that we still have a
mitzvah to eat a particular thing. In Eretz Yisroel and in
the Beis Hamikdosh there were many mitzvas that
required eating. But today all we have is matzoh and morror
on the Seder night.
That is the condition in which we have to tell our sons of
the origins of Torah. It was "because of this" meaning the
matzoh and morror, symbols of the transition from slavery to
Redemption, and actual remnants of the redeemed state of life
when even eating was a spiritually uplifting act.
That is what we have to pass on: work towards Geulah.
Do not be satisfied with golus. Do not compromise on
the basic elements of ruchniyus, or, if you must,
struggle against it and strive for the real thing.
When the Rosho tries to dampen our enthusiasm and soil
our soaring spirits with his contempt, we do not answer him.
The Gaon points out that in the case of the other three sons,
the Torah tells us, "Tell your son . . . " or "And you should
say to him . . ." or "And you should say to your son. . . "
In each case it says to address him. In the case of the
Rosho, the Torah just says, "And you should say . . .
" We do not address him. We do not engage him. Just as he has
cut himself off from Klal Yisroel and from Hashem, we
leave him alone. The Rosho is out and can stay out. We
address the rest of his family, and thus use the words that
were given to open up the lines of communication to the one
who does not know how to ask.
This is the night that we have passed to cheirus, simchah,
yom tov, ohr godol, and Geulah. May we be
zocheh to eat from the pesochim and the
zevochim soon, in our days.