“Eat honey, My child, for it is good, and drippings of the honeycomb are sweet upon your palate. So is knowledge of wisdom for your soul, if you have found it, for it has a lasting outcome, and your hope will not be cut off. (Honey/wisdom = Torah).” Proverbs 24:13-14
As I prepare this Op, it is 26 March 2021, Erav Shabbat i.e. the Sixth Day of the week/Friday and the day before Pesach (Passover) begins, Baruch HaShem! Now I know there are those who are on a different calendar and thus have a differing opinion on how when the Feasts of HaShem commence, that is their opinion and their prerogative, not my issue. I know which calendar I adhere to and why I do so and do not plan on debating that with anyone. This said, I hope and pray this Op will be an enlightening Op discussing the significance of Pesach and why certain things are done on this Feast.
The theme of Pesach is the account of HaShem taking us from bondage to freedom! The account is retold of being under Egyptian slavery to Him ultimately taking us to Mt Sinai and presenting us with His marriage contract i.e. His Torah/Freedom on Shavuot! He uses His Agent i.e. Moshe to bring about this deliverance and lead His people into the Wilderness to safety. It is also a picture of our bondage to sin i.e. Egypt and His work to deliver us from that bondage via His Agent i.e. Messiah Yeshua (Not Jesus). So we can see Pesach is both literal and prophetic in nature as it discusses history but also the future Final Redemption. Further He paints a picture in that Moshe is a type/picture of the Agent of HaShem i.e. His Messiah!
Remember what we discussed many times before with regards to the Agent of HaShem and the Law of Agency from the Jewish Encyclopedia which says – “The Law of Agency deals with the status of a person (known as the agent) acting by direction of another (the principal), and thereby legally binding the principal in his connection with a third person. The person who binds a principal in this manner is his agent, known in Jewish law as sheluaḥ or sheliaḥ (one that is sent): the relation of the former to the latter is known as agency (sheliḥut). The general principle is enunciated thus: A man’s agent is like himself (Ḳid. 41b).”
Point is, when Yeshua says “When you see Me, you have seen the Father” per John 14:9, Yeshua doesn’t mean this literally, as He is NOT HaShem in the flesh, but He is expressing He is the Agent of HaShem! Very important to remember this! I digress.
Now more than ever, in my opinion, the theme of Pesach is so much more meaningful for us in light of all the chaos going on around us in the country and the world! More and more every day America falls deeper into oppression and tyranny. The ‘Land of the Free and Home of the Brave’ is erased more and more literally by the stroke of a pen by our leadership. This isn’t a Democrat vs Republican issue, this is a judgment issue by HaShem for our collective rejection and willful rebellion of Him and His Torah!
Pesach is about hope, liberty, life and ultimately redemption! HaShem has given us so many countless ways to help us understand this whether it is through nature around us, the animals, the pleasant colors, the pleasant smells, the varieties of foods and ultimately our taste buds! What is more intimate to each of us than our taste buds? Who doesn’t like sweets? We experience so much in just a taste! Either it will be pleasant and good or it will be bad and we spit it out, either way it does have a direct effect on our mood, outlook on life, etc.
So, it is very interesting He chooses to use ‘taste and see HaShem is good’ and likens His Torah to sweet honey and honeycomb! Further, it is interesting He has chosen for us to experience the account of bondage to freedom through taste i.e. the elements of the Pesach Seder along with the Pesach meal! ‘Taste and see HaShem is good’ has a new dimension to it!
We will discuss this further, but before we begin, always remember the following unchanging characteristics of HaShem:
- HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
- His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
- He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
- He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
- He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
- He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
- He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
- He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
- He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
- He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
- He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
- He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
- He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
- He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
- He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
- He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
- He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
- He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
- He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
- He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
- He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
- He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
- He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
- He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
- He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
- He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
The following excerpt from a book entitled ‘The Haggadah’ by Rabbi Elias, published by Artscroll, when discussing the significance of Pesach says “There is, thus, a duality about Pesach – The liberation from Egypt and the redemption to come; occurring at the two extremes of our history, they are inextricably linked at this moment in our lives. At the Burning Bush Moshe was told by G-d, ‘I will be He Who I shall be’ quoting Shemot/Exodus 3:14. Our Sages explain this as an assurance that ‘I will be with them in this time of suffering as I will be with them when they are in bondage to other powers.’ In the same vein, the Prophet Micah assures the Jewish people that ‘Just as in the days of your going out from Egypt, I will show wonders’ quoting Shemot/Exodus 7:15. This, it has been suggested, does not tell us that the future redemption will merely be an aftermath of our deliverance from Egypt; rather, that the Exodus MUST be viewed as the PRELUDE to the MESSIANIC REDEMPTION.”
WOW…in other words, per all the prophecies and promises made by HaShem over the centuries, the Exodus from Egypt is the picture of how He will rescue out His Own in the time of the End! Baruch HaShem! Remember, He says He reveals the END from the beginning!!! No wonder the Adversary has worked so hard to convince people the Beginning has been ‘fulfilled’ and tossed aside, replaced by the Apostolic Writings! As long as he can keep people away from the Beginning, then there is no chance of understanding how the End will unfold and will rely on fables of men and idolatry laden themes such as Easter rabbits and painted eggs! I digress.
This is precisely why His Torah is so vitally important and why we all must study, learn and apply His Torah to our own lives. Does Torah save us? As I have said a billion times over the years, NO! Torah does not save anyone, it was never meant too! First we believe i.e. faith in HaShem, THEN we strive to learn and apply His Torah to our lives as the expression and evidence of faith in HaShem. This is why the rejection and disgust for HaShem and His Torah by society, people, Replacement Theology, etc, is so devastating on the world because it is by default embracing immorality, debauchery, wickedness and is the fullest expression of rebellion and idolatry. It is akin to flipping a giant middle finger to HaShem!
It is interesting because around this time of year i.e. Pesach, a typical reading is read from the Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers), specifically 6.1 and 6.2. Chapter 6.1 says “He who occupies himself with Torah for its own sake, merits many things; moreover, he is deserving of the whole world i.e. He is called: Friend, beloved of HaShem, a lover of HaShem, a lover of mankind, one who gladdens HaShem, one who gladdens mankind; and it clothes him in humility and reverence, and trains him to be righteous and pious, upright and faithful. It keeps him far from sin, and draws him near to virtue. From him men enjoy good counsel and sound knowledge, understanding and fortitude, as it is written in Proverbs 8:14 ‘Counsel is mine, and sound knowledge; I am understanding and power is mine.’ It gives him sovereignty and dominion and discernment in judgment. The mysteries of the Torah are revealed to him; he is made like an ever increasing spring, and like a river that never fails. He becomes modest and forbearing, and forgiving of insults. It magnifies and elevates him above all things.”
Now this is an even more interesting chapter from the Perkei Avot which says in 6.2 the following: “Every day a heavenly voice goes forth from Mount Horev (Another name for Mt Sinai) proclaiming and saying ‘Woe to mankind for their disdain of the Torah!’ For he who does not occupy himself with the Torah is called ‘rebuked’ as it is written in Proverbs 11:22 ‘As a golden ring in the snout of a swine, so is a fair woman without discretion.’ And it says in Exodus 32:16 ‘And the tablets were the work of HaShem, and the writing was the writing of HaShem, graven upon the tablets.’ Read not ‘graven’ but ‘freedom‘ for no man is free but he who occupies himself with the study of Torah, and he who devotes himself regularly to the study of Torah shall be exalted, as it is written in Numbers 21:19 ‘And from Mattanah to Nahaliel and from Nahaliel to Bamot'”
Now to better understand what that last sentence means, the commentary says “And from Mattanah (Means ‘Gift of the Torah’) to Nahaliel (Means ‘Divine heritage’) and from Nahaliel to Bamot (Means ‘High places’). The opening words of this verse ‘And from the wilderness to Mattanah’, our Sages expounded thus in Tractate Eruvin 54a from the Talmud Bavli ‘If a man renders himself as the wilderness upon which everyone treads, his learning is retained by him, and the Torah is given to him as a gift; once it is given to him as a gift, his heritage is HaShem as it is written ‘And from Mattanah to Nahaliel…’ And once his heritage is HaShem, he rises to greatness i.e. Bamot/high places, as it is written ‘And from Nahaliel to Bamot.”
HaShem offers His Torah to everyone, sadly very few reach out and take hold of it. Many reject it simply because Replacement Theology has taught and conditioned them too. Point is, HaShem likens His Torah to honey and honeycomb, thus just take a little morsel of His Torah as a taste and you will instantly see that He IS good and you will find yourself wanting more and more and more! Baruch HaShem!
Consider what Tractate Eruvin 54a from the Talmud Bavli says “The Gemara cites instructions issued by Shmuel that are similar to those of Berurya. Shmuel said to Rav Yehuda: Keen scholar [shinnana], open your mouth and read from the Torah, open your mouth and study the Talmud, in order that your studies should endure in you and that you should live a long life, as it is stated: “For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:22). Do not read: “To those who find them [lemotzeihem],” but rather “to those who express them [lemotzi’eihem],” with their mouth.”
It goes on and says: “Having expounded the verse “For they are life to those who find them” as referring to the Torah, the Gemara cites another teaching related to this verse that praises the Torah. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: One who is walking along the way without a companion and is afraid should engage in Torah study, as it is stated with regard to the words of Torah: “For they shall be a graceful wreath [livyat ĥen] for your head, and chains about your neck” (Proverbs 1:9). The word livyat is understood here as a reference to levaya, accompaniment, so that the verse is interpreted to mean that Torah is a graceful accompaniment to one who is traveling.”
“One who feels pain in his head should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “For they shall be a graceful wreath for your head.” One who feels pain in his throat should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “And chains about your neck.” One who feels pain in his intestines should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “It shall be health to your navel” (Proverbs 3:8). One who feels pain in his bones should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “And marrow to your bones” (Proverbs 3:8). One who feels pain in his entire body should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “And health to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:22).”
“Rav Yehuda, son of Rabbi Ĥiyya, said: Come and see that the attribute of flesh and blood is unlike the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He. The attribute of flesh and blood is that when a person gives a drug to his fellow, it is good for this part of his body and it is harmful to that other part of his body. But the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He, is not so; He gave the Torah to the Jewish people, and it is a drug of life for one’s entire body, as it is stated: “And health to all their flesh.”
“The Gemara continues with praise for Torah study and knowledge. Rav Ami said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them be firmly attached together to your lips” (Proverbs 22:18)? When are words of Torah pleasant? When you keep them within you and know them. And when will you keep them within you? When they will be attached together to your lips, i.e., when you articulate them audibly and expound them.”
What is the point of this thus far? TO TASTE AND SEE HASHEM IS GOOD!!!
How does this tie in with Pesach? Because HaShem commands us in His Torah to remember the Exodus! Exodus 13:3-10 says “Moshe said to the people, ‘Remember this day on which you departed from Egypt, from the house of bondage, for with a strong hand HaShem removed you from here, and therefore chametz (Leavening) may not be eaten. Today you are leaving, in the month of springtime (Nissan). And it shall come to pass when HaShem shall bring you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivvite, and the Jebusite, which He swore to your forefathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall perform this service in this month. For a seven day period shall you eat matzos, and on the seventh day there shall be a festival to HaShem. Matzos shall be eaten throughout the seven day period; no chametz may be seen in your possession, nor may leaven be seen in your possession in all your borders. And you shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of this that HaShem acted on my behalf when I left Egypt.’ And it shall be for you a sign on your arm and a reminder between your eyes, so that HaShem’s Torah may be in your mouth, for with a strong hand HaShem removed you from Egypt. You shall observe this decree at its designated time from day to day.”
So, one of the main purposes for HaShem bringing us out of Egypt is “SO THAT HASHEM’S TORAH MAY BE IN YOUR MOUTH!” Can you see now more clearly the absolute absurdity of Replacement Theology and its Torah hating doctrine that says the Torah is bondage, death, destruction and done away with? You cannot separate the Torah from HaShem’s people!! Living apart from HaShem and His Torah is the bondage, destruction and ultimately death, not His Torah!!
Mitzvah #21 from the Book of the Mitzvos is ‘The Obligation to Recount the Exodus From Egypt.’ What is the underlying purpose of this commandment? “To remember the miracles of the Exodus from Egypt and because the story of the Exodus is A GREAT FOUNDATION AND A STRONG PILLAR OF OUR TORAH, AND OUR FAITH. It is imperative that the story of the Exodus be remembered because it serves for us as a definitive sign and proof of the Creation of the world, and that there is a G-d Who is the Original Being that preceded it all, Who is interested in the events of this world, and Who is all powerful; and that He brought into existence all things in creation, into the state in which they now exist, and that it is in His power to miraculously change them into any other state that He desires at any time, as He did in Egypt, when He altered the natural order of the universe for our sake and He performed for us unprecedented, great, and powerful wonders.”
With all this said, how do we remember to recount the Exodus on Pesach? We have a Seder meaning ‘order’ as the Seder is an ordered and structured event. The Seder is designed in such a fashion to mark every stage of the evening, as we are led from the experience of bondage to the joy of freedom. “In following this pattern, we are actually preparing the design of the coming redemption for, as we have seen, each Pesach repeats the experience of the first one and foreshadows each succeeding one until the final, climactic redemption.”
There are a total of 15 elements that make up the structure of the Seder, which include four cups of wine:
- Kaddesh/Recite the Kiddush over the festival and the first cup of wine is drunk
- U’rechatz/Wash hands in preparation
- Karpas/Eating of karpas i.e. the vegetable dipped in salt water to arouse children’s curiosity
- Yachatz/Break the middle Matzah, the smaller half serving as the Bread of Poverty
- Maggid/Haggadah is recited and draws attention to the Bread of Poverty. The children ask questions in which the father replies – we were enslaved, and HaShem freed us, and therefore we should recount the story at length. Shows how every type of child is to be instructed at the Seder; explains when this special duty applies; shows the deeper roots of the exile, and the Exodus as the way to spiritual redemption; the Midrash presents the details of the Pesach story to its triumphant end; explains the concrete Mitzvos ordained for the Seder; emphasizes that in celebrating the Seder, we must see ourselves as having gone out from Egypt and therefore we praise HaShem for His kindness, ending with a blessing over the Haggadah. The second cup of wine is drunk.
- Rachtzah/Wash hands
- Motzi/Customary blessing over the Matzah
- Matzah/And special blessing over Matzos from which we then eat
- Maror/Special blessing is said over the Maror and it is eaten after we dip it into Charoses
- Korech/Combination of Matzah and Maror is eaten and then…
- Shulchan Orech/Eat the festive meal, ending with…
- Tzafun/Eating of the Afikoman
- Barech/Birchas HaMazon, the blessing after the meal, the third cup of wine is drunk
- Hallel/Psalms of praise and declarations of our faith in HaShem are recited, the fourth cup of wine is drunk
- Nirtzah/The Seder is completed with our prayers that our service be accepted by HaShem, and Mashiach come speedily!
These are the steps of the Seder and believe me, it looks long and tedious, but each part tells a specific piece of the story, culminating with the liberation, deliverance and redemption and why we call out to HaShem today, praying He hears our prayers and responds to deliver and liberate His people so that we can keep His Torah in our mouths and walk in service unto Him without any oppression or resistance from an utterly rotten and wicked world!
Again, I hope you can see it is ALL about Messiah and His Torah!! Remember, Yeshua (Not Jesus) IS the Agent/Word of HaShem. He is the walking, talking Torah, so to say Torah has been tossed out and replaced, means Yeshua has been tossed out and replaced, which Replacement Theology has unfortunately been very successful in doing and has replaced Yeshua with Torah rejecting Jesus!
As I have stated in the past and I will end this Op here with this one final thought:
- Know Torah = Know Messiah Yeshua
- No Torah = No Messiah Yeshua
Truly taste and see that HaShem truly is indeed good!!
Much to consider!
Have a blessed Shabbat and Chag Pesach Sameach!
- The Scriptures from the Institute for Scripture Research
- The Haggadah by Rabbi Joseph Elias published by Artscroll
- The Book of the Mitzvot by Artscroll
- Tractate Eruvin Koren Talmud Bavli by Steinsaltz
- Proverbs by Artscroll
- The Milstein Edition The Chumash Shemot by Artscroll
- Tractate Perkei Avos Mishnah by Kehati