Commentary on the Haggadah based on the writings of the Chofetz Chaim Zt”l: 5773

“Tzai Ulimad” (Go out and learn)

The Hagadah is telling us that we should go out and learn about Galus.
The Chofetz Chaim asks a few questions about Galus:
What can we learn from the way the Avos went to Galus?
What was the reason the descendants of Avraham Avinu had to go to Galus?
It was a punishment to Avraham Avinu because Avraham did not believe in Hashem completely. When Hashem promised Avraham that his children will get Eretz Yisroel, Avraham asked, “How do I know that they will inherit it?”
Why did Yaakov have to go to Mitzrayim for Galus? Why couldn’t he just fulfill the gezairah  (decree) of galus and stay in the house of Lavan in Aramam Naharayim?
Yaakov kept all the mitzvos of the Torah and he was very careful to be honest in that difficult situation so he was zoche to be saved from Lavan. Lavan would have been even more cruel to the Bnei Yiseroel than Pharaoh. This is what it means when the Hagaddah said, “Lavan tried to destroy everything.”
Why was it that Yosef went to Galus in a spice caravan?
Why did the brothers of Yosef go to Mitzrayim subservient to Yosef?
Why did Yaakov go to Mitzrayim in a royal carriage?
The Chofetz syas that we learn from here that each person gets exactly what he deserves based on his words and actions.  Yosef said Lashon Harah about his brothers but was otherwise a Tzaddik so he was treated one way.
Yaakov kept all the Torah and Mitzvos so he went down royally.
However, since he spoke harshly to Rochel, Rochel’s son, Yosef, was put in a position of authority over all of Yaakov’s other children.
We learn from here that we should think twice before we say or do anything because Hashem is going to deal with us Midah K’neged Midah (measure for measure). So let’s make it all good. It’s up to us.

 “Li’ feechuch Chayavim Anachnu L’Hodose”  (Therefore we are obligated to say thank you)

Rabbi Ben-Tzion Baruk z”tl once slept in the same room as the Chofetz Chaim. He said that before he went to sleep, he heard the Chofetz Chaim thanking Hashem for every detail of his life.

He said, “Thank you Hashem for helping me when I was an orphan child.
Thank you Hashem for allowing me to print Sefarim.
Thank you Hashem for giving me good children and son-in-laws etc.
The Chofetz Chaim learns from a Medrash how important it is to have Hakaros Hatov and to say Thank you.
The Medrash asks, “Why did Moshe Rabeinu go back to Yisro after Hashem told him he should go back to Mitzrayim to take out the Bnei Yisroel?
The Medrash answers, Moshe Rabbeinu needed to return to Yisro because he had Hakaros Hatov to Yisro for taking care of him in Midyan.   Even though his mission was of such vital importance, he could not begin his journey to take Bnei Yisroel to get the Torah without good Middos. He had to first get permission from Yisro and say thank you before he went on his important mission. We see from here how important it is to have good Middos all the time.

 

About tasteofyeshiva

RABBI YAIR FRIEDMAN teaches at The Torah School of Greater Washington, and Yeshiva L' Baalei Batim. He is the owner and director of Camp Gevaldig LLC.
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