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The Passover Seder preceded the famous night yeshiva in Bnei Brak

Tradition considers this important instruction of Rabbi Gamaliel, the president of the Sanhedrin, to be the lever on the basis of which the traditional feast on the eve of the holiday began and was conducted, what is known in our places as the "Seder night meal". However, evidence of holding the Seder meal appears in earlier passages in the Mishnah and the Tosefta and in other places, such as the Last Supper held in Jerusalem under the direction of Jesus.

A family celebrates Seder night. Photo: shutterstock
A family celebrates Seder night. Photo: shutterstock

The following passage is taken from the sources, although we all know it from the Passover Haggadah.

Let's look at it and explain: "Rabbi Gamliel used to say: Anyone who does not say (do) these words on Passover has not neglected his duty. And these are: Pesach, matzah and maror. Passover - on the grounds that Passover was passed over the homes of our ancestors in Egypt. Matza - on garlic that our ancestors were redeemed in Egypt. Bitterness - because the Egyptians made the lives of our ancestors bitter in Egypt. In every generation, a person loved to see himself as if he had come out of Egypt, as it is said (Exodus 8:5): 'And you said to your son on that day, saying, For this reason God did to me when I came out of Egypt.' Therefore we must thank, glorify, praise, glorify, exalt, glorify, bless, exalt and praise the one who did these miracles for our ancestors and for us: we brought us out of slavery to freedom, protection to joy and slavery to redemption. And hallelujah was said before him" (Misnath Pesachim XNUMX:XNUMX).

Tradition considers this important instruction of Rabbi Gamaliel, the president of the Sanhedrin, to be the lever on the basis of which the traditional feast on the eve of the holiday began and was conducted, what is known in our places as the "Seder night meal". started? Certainly not, because evidence of the Seder meal being held appears in earlier passages in the Mishnah and the Tosefta and in other places, such as the Last Supper held in Jerusalem under the direction of Jesus.
The Seder meals were held, therefore, even before the destruction of the Second Temple (70 AD), since it is inconceivable that on the eve of Passover, while the Temple stood in its place, while multitudes of Jews from Judea and the Diaspora flocked to Jerusalem, even though the city was overflowing with pilgrims, The majority of the Jewish public, in Judea and the Diaspora, sat in their residence, and at least part of it, it seems, celebrated the feast on the eve of the holiday.

Rabbi Gamliel, as president of the Sanhedrin, as the successor of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakhai of Yavneh, since 96 CE, presumably for public and personal reasons no less, sought to unite the Jewish public in a series of halachic rulings, such as the final wording of the eighteen prayer, the establishment of a uniform currency of the daily prayers, a final seal of the XNUMX-book biblical codex and more, and in our case it finally, unified and uniformly established the customs of the Passover and especially the laws on the eve of the holiday and its customs.

After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Romans persecuted the House of Rabbi Gamliel, who was the official and mythological institution of the House of the Presidency, also as part of the political decrees after the Great Rebellion and mainly following the support of the House of the Presidency, i.e. Rabbi Shimon ben Gamaliel the elder, the condemned father of Rabbi Gamaliel, Rabbi Gamaliel, Hinoka At that time, he was perceived, as mentioned, as persona non grata, and had to hide from the terror of the Roman government.

The one who served as the president of the Sanhedrin, who was recognized, at least de facto, by the Romans, was Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, whose part of his life on the eve of the destruction was problematic, that is, the mystery of his exit/removal as a dead man outside the besieged Jerusalem that was on the brink of total destruction, and likewise the part of his life after Then - his departure from Livna (perhaps under some kind of Roman compulsion, considering a convenient detention camp), when he is an usurper, apparently, kicking the tradition of presidential succession.

Either way, Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakai had to lead a society in a catatonic state of not having a temple, with all that implies, and he chose a pragmatic, ambivalent and dissonant sympathetic way, of concern in every halachic ruling on the one hand to remind and remember the destruction of the temple and the expectation of its rapid renewal, but not at any cost (when he is influenced by the worldview of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hananiah, the "Scholastica Daurieta" and close to the Romans), but on the other hand to treat birch as an alternative, albeit a temporary one (and we know the cynical rule of "there is nothing more permanent than the temporary"), when, Rabbi Yochanan ben He is entitled, leads the people and society, and perpetuates and assimilates his presidency and perhaps even creates leverage from the infrastructure of a new presidency.
This is how the idea of ​​the revival of the temple went and dissolved, gradually of course, with Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakhai making sure to hit all the supporters of the temple and those who expect its revival such as the Sadducee sect and the priests in general.

In one of the cases, as recounted in the treatise Avot Darbi Natan, Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakhai misleads, when he relies on what is said in the Bible - "For I have desired grace and not sacrifice" (Hosea 6:XNUMX) - to convert the sacrifices in a state of lack of sanctification and to demand the rewards of kindness under them , considering a corrective social act.

It is worth noting that this trend of moving away from the idea of ​​the revival of the holy of holies probably corresponded to Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai's sober and matter-of-fact view of uprooting and removing as much as possible the ideas of ideological fanaticism from the public, as the one that ultimately led to the outbreak of the rebellion against the Romans and its tragic end.

Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakhai, as mentioned, ends his ministry and bequeaths it, probably out of choice, to Rabbi Gamliel who was rehabilitated on behalf of the Romans. And he in a sense continues the pragmatic path of his predecessor, issuing halachic rulings intended to unite and unify the Jewish public, with the president, who is valued by the Romans, standing at its head.

And for our purposes - his rulings regarding the Seder Pesach laws were not in the possession of a Torah innovation and an unprecedented revolutionary move. Hela gave legitimacy to Passover conduct until his days, when the principle of prayer-poetic unity stood before his eyes. He also feared, and perhaps more than his predecessor, the renewal of rebellious tendencies in Judea, such that could bring disaster on the Jewish public, and therefore there is no reference to Rome as the enemy of the public in the Passover Haggadah, with the exception of subtle allusions (perhaps perhaps in the interpretation to Egypt). And even those who are at peace, thanks be to God, who redeemed the people and brought them out of slavery to freedom, they are in terms of an act that was, and not a lesson for the future. And the sacred instruction that is expressed several times in the Haggadah is to tell the Exodus from Egypt, and the Haggadah to your son and more. Redemption will also not come from the hands of man, but from heaven, in terms of an assimilated fatalization, and as stated in the Haggadah: "And the Lord brought us out of Egypt, not by an angel, nor by a firebrand, nor by a messenger, but the Holy One, blessed be He in His glory and Himself."

The next passage also hints at a lack of activity, in terms of sit and don't do: "In every generation, a person likes to see himself as if he came out of Egypt." We mean that redemption is constantly in a state of exhaustion.

In conclusion - Rabbi Gamaliel the president regulates the laws of the Seder, the Pesach Seder, as an integral part of uniting the public to itself, of strengthening the position of the presidency, of a certain distance from the messianic hope for the resurrection of the temple and of reconciliation with the Roman rule, that is to say, of suppressing rebellious hopes.

More of the topic in Hayadan:

13 תגובות

  1. Sabdarmish Yehuda
    Even more important than this is the imperative to remember that we were slaves in Egypt when treating minorities while there is independent government. What was called "the love of the Hagar"

  2. It is not important at all if there was an exodus from Egypt or not. What is important is that a story of this kind will enter the culture of our people, our love of the sparrow, and not be with slaves. What exactly happened there is really unimportant, and let's not expect to know after thousands of years.
    Happy holiday to everyone
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  3. Kobi Maroz
    There is no evidence in the Bible - it's just a book 🙂
    There is no evidence of the Exodus, and certainly not of the 2-3 million people who wandered for 40 years in the desert. A beautiful story indeed, but a story.

  4. To the point....we have many testimonies in the Bible that support your claim, but the laws and mitzvot began to be absorbed into our culture only from the giving of the Torah, therefore you did not innovate anything or add anything to what is said in the Bible.

  5. Pharaoh Seti the first was the son of Pharaoh Ramses the first who reigned for about two years at the most and according to the biblical his time there was an exodus from is possible that he really drowned in the sea??? Before he died, Ramses I began to build the new city "Ramses" and his sons completed it. Before Ramses I, there was no pharaoh called "Ramses" in the history of Egypt, therefore the mention in the Book of Exodus pertains to Ramses I and not Ramses II. Seti's war campaign in Canaan and the renewal of Egyptian hegemony In Canaan, which disappeared from the days of Akhenaten, they occurred when the Israelites, according to the biblical dating, wandered their 40 years in the desert, so this discovery does not harm the credibility of the Bible at all, at least on this point.

  6. In the end science will win over religion. This is when it will be possible to look into the past with the help of a time machine and prove the truth.

  7. Daughter, you should read some Bible. The children of Israel worshiped God and certainly did not observe mitzvot.

  8. her daughter
    You wrote "The Pesach order existed since the Exodus". So that's it, no. The Exodus is not a historical fact.

  9. The Passover order existed since the Exodus. Ethiopian Jews, who as we know had nothing to do with the destruction of the Temples, used to celebrate the Seder night with new vessels (they broke the clay vessels they had used all year and made new vessels for the night of Passover, added a lamb sacrifice and other delicacies, and told, especially to the children , the story of the Torah.
    The rabbis throughout history did establish the customs, but did not innovate anything.

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