Thought of the Week: Pesach - 5775


In the Haggadah we read that when talking about the redemption from Egypt the Torah addresses four different types of sons.  The second one of the four is described as ‘wicked’.  The author of the Haggadah tells us “if he would have been there he would have not been redeemed.”

One could ask what kind of attitude or activities causes a person to be labeled ‘wicked’ and thus not merit redemption.  In addition, where in the Torah do we find such behaviour regarding members of the Jewish nation in Mitzraim?

In the beginning of the book of Shemot, Moshe, after coming out of the royal palace, has two interactions with his people.  In the first, he defends a Jew from a beating by killing an Egyptian.  In the second, which occurs the following day, he asks a Jewish individual involved in an altercation “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”  The person being criticized, retorts by mentioning Moshe’s activities of the prior day.  Eventually, the news of the killing of the Egyptian reached Pharaoh, and Moshe had to flee.

There is no greater deed than doing what is necessary for the defence and security of another Jew, as Moshe did.  Yet, there are people that believe that such activities are harmful since they depict the difference between Jew and gentile.  Unfortunately, even today there are Jews who maintain that it is their job to educate officials in Washington, to take a tough stand against Israel for actively defending itself.  The wicked son believes that the Jew is the cause of all obstacles for peace and that the Jewish problem can be solved by removing the Jewish aspect of the people of Israel.  The wicked son is willing to hurt his fellow Jew for the sake of finding favour in the eyes of the world.  A person with such an attitude cannot join our journey of freedom.  Thus, “if he would have been there he would have not been redeemed.”

As we celebrate this wonderful holiday, we pray for the physical and spiritual welfare of our nation, and may Ahavat Yisrael become the core of our identity, and thus we will merit the final redemption.

Shabbat Shalom, Chag Sameach