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A Pesach Message

April 1, 2015

On the eve of this Jewish festival of Passover, True Torah Jews wishes all of the Jewish people a chag kasher v'sameach - a happy and kosher Passover.

On the night of Passover, Jews sing the famous song of thanks to G-d known as "Dayeinu" - even one of the miracles G-d did for us would have been enough on its own.

One of verses is, "If He had given us the Torah but not brought us into the Land of Israel, it would have been enough."

The Chofetz Chaim writes that from here we learn that it is possible for our people to exist even in exile, as long as we fulfill the commandments of the Torah. But in the reverse situation – to live in Eretz Yisroel and not fulfill the Torah – we cannot survive; that is why the author of the Hagadah did not say, “If He had brought us into Eretz Yisroel but not given us the Torah, it would have been enough.” To hold onto the Land without Torah is impossible. (Chofetz Chaim on the Torah, Vaeschanan)

The Chofetz Chaim elaborates further with an analogy: A person consists of a body and a soul. The soul alone cannot live in the physical world, it must have a body. Nevertheless, the soul alone is a complete and independently existing entity. The body, on the other hand, when separated from the soul is no more than a piece of earth. So too, the soul of the Jewish people is the holy Torah; the body is Eretz Yisroel. Certainly without a body it is very bitter: we cannot keep the mitzvos that depend on Eretz Yisroel, the anti-Semites take away our livelihood and persecute us. We are broken physically and spiritually. Certainly it is bitter – we cannot stand it any longer in exile – and yet we are holding out. But Eretz Yisroel without Torah is just a piece of earth. (Kol Kisvei Chofetz Chaim, p. 27)

Of course, even when the Jewish people do keep the Torah, they cannot enter Eretz Yisroel on their own; they must wait for G-d Himself to bring them there. And this leads us to our next lesson from Dayeinu:

The Satmar Rav once commented on the word choices of the author of Dayeinu. “If He had given us the Shabbos… If He had given us the Torah… If He had brought us into Eretz Yisroel…” Seemingly, he should have continued to use the word “give”: “If He had given us Eretz Yisroel…” The answer is, when it comes to Eretz Yisroel it is not enough if it seems like Hashem is letting us have it. We must wait for Hashem Himself to actually bring us into the land; until then, we are forbidden to enter. (Machzor Divrei Yoel)

May Jews internalize these lessons and wait for the true redemption.