09 April 2017

Some Seder Tidbits From Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l

What Is the Lesson of the Death of Egypt's First-Born Sons?
The most severe of the Ten Plagues and therefore it was the last. But it was the most important (and most severe) because of the very great principle which it came to demonstrate, a principle which is second to the principle that Hashem created the Universe: the thesis that Israel is most important in Hashem’s eyes. "My son, My first-born is Israel” (4:22). — A Nation is Born

How Did We Gain from Our Subjection to Egypt?
Thus the affliction in Egypt was the time of Israel’s chief greatness, for their cry to Hashem gained for them such excellence that made them worthy of being redeemed to become Hashem’s people. — A Nation is Born

What Was the Purpose of the Exodus from Egypt?
The Egyptians could have decided to expel the sons of Israel because they were foreigners and were too numerous. But Hashem arranged the events in Egypt in such manner that the "outstretched arm” of Hashem was unmistakably apparent. Both the bondage in Egypt and the deliverance from Egypt were intended to demonstrate the Presence of G-d (7:5). — A Nation is Born

Why is Maror Good for You?
When Jews ... identify with the umos ha’olam (other nations), Hashem sees a danger in that ... so then He erects a barrier of hostility. “Hofach libom lisno amo.” He turns over the hearts of their enemies so they begin hating His people now, and that’s their salvation. That maror — the bitterness this hostility causes us — is very good for us, and that’s why we sit down and eat it Pesach night. — Preface to Pesach 1 (#116)

What Is Hashem's Most Important Job?
When Hashem first spoke to the whole nation of Israel, what did He say? He didn’t say, “I am Hashem who created the heavens and the earth.” He said, “Who took you out of Mitzrayim.” These are my credentials: “I took you out of Egypt.” — Pesach, Matzoh and Maror (#638)

How Did Pharaoh Prepare us for Sinai?
What greater gift could Hashem give anybody in this world that’s bigger than the Torah? But in order that they should accept the Torah, they needed another gift as a prelude, and that was the gift of tzaros (suffering).

Pharaoh was even more influential than Moshe Rabbeinu in getting them to accept the Torah. — Pesach, Matzoh and Maror (#638)

What Makes Life Easier?
When a man lives in This World in expectation [of the World to Come], everything is happy. A man has a nagging wife, and he's able to take it because of [his awareness of] Olam Haba, the World to Come. (Oh, a wife can bring him to Olam Haba quickly. She shouldn’t have that purpose in mind, however! She should try to give him Olam Hazeh, This World.) When people live for the next world, for them this life is one endless happiness. — Adam's Ordeal (#28)

What Is Wisdom?
Wisdom doesn’t just mean knowing things; it means being Aware of the presence of Hashem in the world. As David Hamelech says, "Reishis Chachma yiras Hashem — The highest of wisdom is the fear of Hashem" (Tehilim 111:10). This doesn’t mean we have to be in a state of fear. It means that we have to be Aware that the presence of Hashem is everywhere. That realization is the pinnacle of wisdom. — Ohr Avigdor Hakdama

What Lesson In Gratitude Is Always in Sight?
When one sees a blind man, he should regard this as a heaven-sent opportunity to reflect on his great good fortune and on the enormous debt of gratitude which he owes to G-d. He should attempt constantly to gain some of the ecstasy experienced by a certain blind man who regained his sight after years of sightlessness. — Rejoice, O Youth

Where Will You Achieve Excellence?
Many seek an area to accomplish something, but the best of achievements is inside of one's own mind: "The eyes of the fool are upon the end of the earth" (Mishlei 17:24). Turn your gaze inward, for here is the area of true achievement: to train oneself in the duties of the mind, and to accustom the thoughts to dwell on Hashem. — Awake, My Glory

Where Can You Find Knowledge of Hashem?
One doesn’t need to be a great scholar or scientist to easily see the great wisdom of Hashem. Even superficially it is easy to see the great wisdom in the design of our world so that all people can be aware of the presence of the Great Designer Who planned all this with the intent of creating a place on this earth for mankind to live. — Ohr Avigdor Shaar Habechinah

What's Your First Priority in Life?
The prime function of mankind even today is not to avoid evil...

We have to fight against all the wickedness of the colleges. We have to oppose the wickedness of the radio and television, of the non-Jewish culture... But that’s not our prime function. Our prime function is still the same as it was with Adam [before the Sin]. And what is that? To make more rapid progress in our journey towards Hashem. To come closer and closer to him. That’s our function in life. — Adam's Ordeal (#28)

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