What’s the Pshat on Seder Night?

We are told that Torah learning is a Pardes, a beautiful orchard.  The letters of Pardes hint to the dimensions of each verse of Torah.  There is the Pey which refers to Pshat – literal translation.  Every verse in Torah has a literal translation.  So, if it says, “and Avraham journeyed,” we know that literally Avraham journeyed.  Then there is the next layer, the Raysh which alludes to Remez, the hints in the Torah.  Torah verses hint at the Oral Law and, at times, at events in history waiting to unfold.  The next layer in Torah meaning is Daled – Drash, the deeper emotional and spiritual understandings in the verse.  And the last layer is Samech which indicates Sod, the Kabbalah, hidden abstract/mystical meaning to the verse.

The word Seder incorporates three of those letters, but leaves one out.  There is the Samech indicating Sod –telling us our Pesach Seder is redolent with high mystical meaning.  There is the Daled signifying Drash that tells us that every step of the Seder night has deep emotional and spiritual understandings.  There is the also the Raysh for Remez which alerts us there are hints and innuendos to future events yet to come for our people.  But where is the Pshat – where is the literal aspect to the Seder?

The answer, my worthy friends, is WE are the Pshat on Seder night.  We go through literal motions to set all the other things into place.  We literally eat the Matzah.  We literally drink the wine.  We are the actual verse in its simple translation.

This Seder (and onward in our life) we must never forget it is we who often are asked to put the literal into being by doing the commandments.  And through our being so literal, we put into motion real significant deep and mystical forces.  Never shirk your duty of doing the actual literal — for, through it, so much more is put into play.


About jewishspectacles

Jewish Spectacles-the kind you look through, not the kind you create!
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