The Passover Seder in the Talmud 3

Continuing from previous blogs, we now come to the mishnah (Meseches Pesachim 116) stating the format of the four questions. As we have already discussed, today we do not recite the question concerning the roasted meat, but instead recite the question about reclining. With regards to the gemara, the sages discuss the various intentions required in the halacha as stated in the mishnah (from Sefaria.org, The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren Noe Talmud Bavli):

The maggid portion of the includes the father’s answer (from Sefaria.org The Sefaria Haggadah with community translation):

As we can see we begin with “disgrace” (“We were slaves”) and end with glory (“And the Lord, our G-d, took us out from there with a string hand and an outstretched forearm”). While this is not the end of the story, the gemara might mean that we continue with the story of how our ancestors worshiped idols (disgrace) and then Abraham accepted Hashem (glory). The recitation of the verse ,”My father was a wandering Aramean…”, is important because it was a declaration that needed to be said when a person brought their first fruits (orlah) to Jerusalem for consecration. In either case, the text of the haggadah expands on the gemera’s discussion concerning the instruction of children and even the continuous discussion and delving into the meaning of the Exodus from Egypt for us today. Mitzrayim (Egypt) is similar to maitzar which means “narrow strait”. Spiritually, we all have our own “mitzrayim” which is why the haggadah discusses that everyone of us must see himself/herself as he/she personally went for out of Egypt. meaning, we constantly need to move up the ladder (sulam) of spirituality and connectivity with Hashem and the Jewish community.

About the Author
Jonathan Wolf is a retired high school physics teacher. He retired to NJ with his wife. He is an adjunct professor of physics at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has published professional papers and has been the author of AP Physics review books as well as general HS and college physics review books. He is a past President and ritual chairman at a conservative synagogue on Long Island, NY before he retired to NJ.
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