Shabbos Hagodol embodies the יסוד of why Pesach is so central to our lives. On Shabbos the Jews were commanded to get the lambs that they would bring as a Korban Pesach four days later. The bringing of the korban was a key element in the Jews being זוכה to leave Mitzrayim, as it forced them to actualize the high מדריגה that they had reached.
The act of bringing the lamb as a korban enabled the Jews to actively reject the culture of the Egyptians, who considered unblemished lambs to be holy. This was done to defy the Egyptians and their idolatrous culture: When a Jew brought such a lamb from the Mitzri, he would have to tell him the reason he wanted it (which was certain to upset the Mitzri). Furthermore, the lamb had to be roasted, and the smell was noticeable and was sure to bring out all the neighbors. It also could not be disguised as shish kebab or in any way that would disguise the type of animal being roasted.
The greatness of the Korban Pesach is that it entailed action. The Jews, having observed the ניסים of the מכות, were at a high level. They were on a high level but they never actually did anything. "אמר מעט ועשה הרבה - A tzaddik says little but does a lot” is the key for success. The true greatness could only be acquired through deeds, not words alone.
As we approach Pesach, we find ourselves busy with many necessary preparations. I would, however, like to ask you to take a few minutes time from the remaining days to review the work our rebbeim and moros done with your children in preparing them for the Seder. The Seder night, replete with its halochos and minhogim, stands out in particular for its emphasis on chinuch, education. It is the one evening during the year when families are obliged to sit together in a relaxed and amiable atmosphere to discuss the most pivotal period in our people’s history.
At PHDS, we have given our students a thorough grounding in all aspects of the Seder and the dinim of Pesach. They have learned divrei Torah expounding on the Haggodoh, so please encourage them to recite as many of these as possible at the Seder table. Ask them to explain about the arba kosos, the ke’oroh, and the story of Pesach. Give them a little assistance if they need it! Let them join in singing the nigunim they have learned. I am sure that they will give you much nachas as you enjoy the fruits of their educational endeavors.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School