Apr 20, 2016

Experiencing the Seder

Rabbi Doniel Katz:
"Pesach is a 'get out of jail free' card, a jail break for your soul.  Every challenge that you have can be turned around in a few moments at the Pesach seder and this is the purpose of the Pesach seder.  It is not about going through the details.
"I remember Pesach seders in which all that was discussed was - is the matza enough, how big is the kos, I didn't lean - do I need to lean again ...  Our actions must be done according to Halacha because then we know we are maximizing the spiritual potency.  Halacha allows us to capture the 'lights' coming down from the spiritual world and create vessels with our thoughts, speech, and actions.  The gift of the Pesach seder is we move through a halachic process and this is in order to set up a spiritual opportunity and vessel.  The goal is to set things up so we know what we're doing, but we can't get into the spiritual small-mindedness of am I getting it right, did I eat enough matza at the right time.  Once we know we've gotten it halachically right, we need to open our minds and hearts to the experience.
"I Hate, with a capital H, giving over explanations of the Pesach seder at the Pesach seder, because you're not supposed to be there explaining things, what is this about, what is that about, you're not supposed to be reading the Haggada for the first time ('I can't wait to turn to the next page to see what happens' ...) You are supposed to know it all already, and now (at the seder) you are taking it from Head to Heart.  The Pesach seder is about Experiencing it ("chayav adam lir'os es atzmo ...").
"You have those individuals who are just trying to get through it.  Then there are those who are trying to get the maximum spiritual experience out of it and get OCD about it and many people get depressed at the Pesach seder because their expectations are so high and are not being met.  Sometimes, the more you hear about the spiritual potential, the more disappointed you get.  You may be enslaved to what you think the Pesach seder is supposed to be.  The best way to catch the energy of joy and freedom is to embrace the moment, not need it to be anything." 

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