MidrESHET Hayil

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pesah 5772 Don’t Let the Bread Rise This Vacation, YOU Be the One to Rise to the Occasion!

Pesah 5772- Don’t Let the Bread Rise This Vacation, YOU Be the One to Rise to the Occasion!

Ingredients for Massah: flour and water.

Ingredients for Bread: flour and water.

Um, so why in the world are we running around since before Hanukkah time searching for every bit of bread and hamess in every corner and crevice of our homes when it’s made of EXACTLY the same thing as Massah? What’s the difference??

To be considered hamess, flour from the five grains and water must come into contact for over eighteen minutes and fermentation has to have occurred. Massah then is flour and water that has been in contact for less than eighteen minutes and no fermentation has occurred. Even though they are both made of literally the same ingredients, the thing that differentiates massah from hamess, which if eaten during Pesah is punishable by karet (where the soul gets cut off), is nothing but TIME. The factor that accounts for one’s soul to be eternally cut off from its source isn’t flour and it’s not water, it is TIME. If flour and water are in contact for even one second over the eighteen minutes, they are rendered hamess, and anybody who eats it is deserving of karet, Lo Aleinu, Lo Al Af Ehad. One second makes the difference of not only life and death, but of Neshama and no Neshama. ONE SECOND.

In fact hamess (חמץ) and massah (מצה) are so similar, that if you look closely, they are made of basically the same exact letters; they both have a mem (מ), both have a sadik (צ), and one has a hey (ה) while the other has a het (ח). Look at the letters. Hey (ה) and het (ח) are exactly the same shape, it’s just that the het (ח) in hamess has just that one little extra piece on the left side connecting it to the top while the hey (ה) doesn’t. Just one extra piece.  Just one piece that turns ‘massah’ to ‘hamess’. Just one extra second that makes massah turn into hamess. Just ONE second.

The message of Pesah is clear: time is of the essence.

Haz”al teach us, Missvah Ha’Baah Le’Yadekha Al TaHmissenah
 מצוה הבאה לידך אל  תחמצנה .When an opportunity to do a missvah arises (no pun intended), don’t let it delay, don’t pass up on it. Do it right away! The word TaHmissenah has the same root as the word hamess. When we leave something to do for later, when we delay the missvot we could be doing right now, we are making them into hamess; we render them invalid and inexistent. I’m actually realizing right now that the word Missvah (מצוה) looks just like the word massah (מצה). When you have massa in your hands, don’t let it turn into hamess; when you have a missvah to do, do it within the eighteen minutes, don’t delay even one second, because you may very well end up with useless hamess in your hands.

When you wake up in the morning, daven right away! Don’t wait until eleven o’clock to say Berkhot haShahar. When you get your paycheck, separate ma’aser right away! If there is a Sefer you’ve been meaning to read, go buy it and start reading it, don’t push it off! If you have to call relatives to wish them a Hag Sameah, don’t push it off! When you get a Devar Torah in your e-mail, don’t push it off, open and read it right away!! ; D When a missvah comes your way, don’t let it delay!

This exactly is the middah of zerizut, of alacrity. Being a zariz (somebody who exemplifies the middah of zerizut) does not mean that you do things quickly to finish them off; things will not get done properly this way, and you will probably have to work double to correct the mess you made the first time. I’m sure you have heard the quote ‘haste makes waste’. There is a Farsi saying ‘Adameh Tambal Doh Bar Kahr Mikoneh’; a lazy person works twice. He works once quickly thinking he got the job done, and he works a second time to compensate for the lack he left the first time. Being a zariz means doing things efficiently, getting them done in time to the best of your ability.

When Benei Yisrael left Misrayim, they didn’t just do it quickly. They did it well thought out and planned. When they left, they left with dough on their shoulders. That means the dough was prepared before they left, they weren’t measuring out a cup of sugar and checking the eggs as they tied their belts and slipped their shoes on to dash out the door. Think, think well, then do. Once our actions are well thought out we are able to then carry them out efficiently.

Being a zariz also means doing these things with enthusiasm! It’s not about just doing the act, it’s about the willingness to act! Don’t do things with resent, don’t drudge around or make faces. Rise to the occasion! When there is something that must get done get up and go! Do it! Yalla!! If you’re going to do it anyways, better that you do it with joy!

When we sit around the Seder table, it becomes very tempting to mumble through the Haggadah or to take a nap while the head of the household drones through the passages. But it is written in the Haggadah itself, Bekhol Dor va’Dor Hayav Adam Lirot et Assmo keilu Hu Yassa Mimisrayim, in every generation a person must see himself just as if he is leaving Egypt right then and there. Engage yourself, get involved, get others involved! Do it with enthusiasm! Really imagine and feel yourself leaving from the bondage of Misrayim on your way to physical and spiritual freedom.

Be’Ezrat HaShem, in this zekhout may we all merit freedom from our own personal bondage, big and small, and merit a Geulah akin to that of Benei Yisrael in Misrayim. May HaKadoah Barukh Hu answer all our tefillot le’tova u’le’berakha anytime we call out to Him, without delay! May we all develop the middah of zerizut to do missvot and hesed in this world with alacrity and enthusiasm! May we be the massah in this world and not the hamess! And finally, May we be zokhim to bring forth the Geulah with Mashiah ben David THIS YEAR IN YERUSHALAYIM, AMEN!!!!

!!!!חג פסח כשר ושמח
Ariella Samimi

Based on the beautiful shurim of Rebbetsin Ginzburg and Rebbetsin Kalazan

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