28 Adar Beis 5757
April 6, 1997
I hope this letter finds you well. With the month of Nisan and the holiday of Pesach approaching I wanted to share some ideas that I have learned in the Ohr Gedaliahu. We are all aware that Nisan is the first of the 12 months. Nisan is in the Spring. The Av (Father) of 12 (months). We also know that each month corresponds to each one of the Tribes and in the first 12 days of Nisan each leader brought his sacrifice. So we see that the month of Nisan is invested in some way with the lessons of all the months put together. What is the lesson that Rosh Chodesh has to teach us? It is the idea of chadash- renewing ourselves just as the moon renews itself every month we as individuals have to renew our determinations to serve HaShem as best as possible. The person who best exemplifies this is Dovid HaMelech as we say every Rosh Chodesh Dovid Melech Yisroel, Chai Vekaiyam. This is because Dovid, as a descendent of Leah, who proclaimed after her fourth son was born - I express my gratitude to you HaShem because you have given me more than my portion, was always living his life knowing that everything came from HaShem.
At the Seder we eat the Matzo then the Maror. If we think about this for a moment it would seem logical to first eat the Maror and then the Matzo since the Maror signifies the servitude - Avdus - whereas the Matzo signifies our freedom - cherus. The answer is, however, that after our redemption from Egypt we saw in retrospect that even the bitter galus we went through was a preparation for the eventual Geula and that could only be understood after we were redeemed.
The Chasom Sofer, zecher tzadik levracha, tells us that Mitzvot act as reminder of HaShem. There are two situations where we need to be reminded of someone. If two friends part, so one will give the other one a momento to look at from time to time not to forget him. If a parent however gives a child a picture of them this momento is not given out of fear of the child ever forgetting the parent but on the contrary when the child has a yearning to be with his parent he will look at the picture and it will calm him down.
May the observance of our mitzvot in general and during Pesach in aprticular be such that we yearn for you HaShme to let us be with you once agian in your holy abode in Yerushalayim.
Let us grab these preciaous apportunities of Nisan and Pesach to reawaken our appreciation of all that Hashem ahs done for us in our lives and that even in our difficult Galus we will realize it was only a necessary prepartation for the Geula - Bemehera Bayameinu.
May we all be zocheh to come to Beis HaMikdash this Pesach to celebrate together and to say Hallel to HaShem.
Chag Kasher VeSemeach
Rabbi Dovid Sternberg
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