Thursday, May 16, 2024

Yevamos 48: Pesach, Matzah and Maror

On this daf, we find some halachos regarding slavery.

The Avnei Neizer explains the connection between Pesach, matzah and maror, the most essential aspects of the Seder: “It emerges from the deeper works that Pesach enhances the level of nefesh, maror rectifies ruach, and matzah completes neshomah.

Nefesh alludes to yearning. Consuming the Korban Pesach–or yearning while reciting the pertinent parts of the Haggadah—sanctifies one’s inner longing: he begins to desire only holiness and purity. Holy longing is also very important, just like the spiritual closeness to Hashem through fulfilling mitzvos. This is explicit in the Zohar.

Maror commemorates the bitterness of our lives as slaves in Egypt, as we find in the verse. Through eating maror, the many difficulties of life cannot break his spirit which resides in the heart. This is why maror is the same numerical value of movess—death—as the Arizal explains.

“The Zohar calls matzahemunah food.’ Matzah strengthens the intellect so that one’s emunah is based on a deep foundation of understanding. He sees Hashem in the world and remains unflappable despite difficulties.

“The common denominator is that through these three mitzvos, one strengthens nefesh, his desires, ruach, his words, and neshomah, his thoughts, enabling him to attain completion during Sefiras Ha’omer. In this manner, he becomes worthy and receives the Torah on Shavuos” (Na’os Hadesheh II, 171-172).

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