Pearls of Rashi – Pesach

According to the calendar, we should read the Torah portion Acharei this coming Shabbos (Nissan 15 – April 20th). Nevertheless, since we will then be celebrating the first day of Pesach, the regular Torah reading is pushed off. In its place we read from the Torah about Pesach. In fact, the same is true of the following Shabbos, Nissan 22 – April 27th, when we will observe the last day of Pesach.  As such, we will not read Parshas Acharei until Nissan 29 – May 4th.

However, those who follow the custom of learning a portion of the weekly Torah reading with Rashi’s commentary every day will continue learning Acharei through Nissan 29 – May 4th.  Hence, I have decided to present several explanations of Rashi’s comments on Parshas Acharei, and on the Torah’s words describing the Exodus and the holiday of Pesach.

The Torah tells us that we must tell our children of the miracles which Hashem performed for us while freeing us from Egypt[1]. It says that[2] “… when your son asks you tomorrow (using the Hebrew word ‘מָחָר – Mochor’), saying ‘What is this?’ you will say to him, ‘With a mighty hand did the Lord take us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.’” Rashi explains that “sometimes the Hebrew word ‘מָחָר – Mochor’ means ‘now.’ Sometimes the word ‘מָחָר – Mochor’ means ‘at a later time,’ such as it does here …” Rashi then goes on to give another example of the word “Mochor” meaning at a later point in time.

It is clear that in our verse, the Torah is not talking about the day after today; it is referring to a point of time in the future. Why does Rashi need to offer both translations of this word? What can we learn from this?

Each child is “Mochor,” i.e. from the next generation. However, certain children are “Mochor” in the sense of now. He is part of the next generation, but is living the same sort of life as his father. He is a direct continuation from his father. It is obvious that we must answer his questions.

Other children are “Mochor” in the sense of being at a later time. He is part of a new generation, a new era. His questions stem from the fact that a life of Torah and Mitzvos are strange to him. Such a life does not seem to fit into the current era.

Rashi is teaching us, that we must answer this child’s questions as well! He is your child, who we must bring under the wings of the Shechinah.

In this merit, we will certainly merit to establish Hashem’s army[3]. May we witness the fulfillment of the prophecy that[4] “just as in the days of your exodus from Egypt I will show him wonders,” speedily in our days!

Wishing one and all a good Shabbos and a Kosher and happy Pesach!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 31, Page 88

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י בני משפחתו שיחיו

[1]. This constitutes a large part of our Pesach Seder.

[2]. See Parshas Bo, Shemos 13:14.

[3]. Parshas Bo, Shemos 12:41.

[4]. Micha 7:15.

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