On March 28, Rabbi Herschel Welcher, rav of Congregation Ahavas Yisroel, delivered an inspiring shiur on Pesach that included many details on koshering the kitchen.
Rabbi Welcher began with explaining the importance of Rosh Chodesh Nisan. This is when klal Yisrael set aside the lamb to be sacrificed on the tenth of Nisan. The Mishkan was inaugurated around one year later on this date.
Rabbi Welcher then pointed out that there are 54 mitzvos on remembering the Exodus from Egypt. Two of the texts in the t’filin discuss the Exodus from Egypt. One of them mentions the weather during Y’tzias Mitzrayim. Rabbi Welcher posed the question: Why is it significant to mention the weather when the Jews were finally freed? Who cares what the weather was? Freedom is what was important.
Rashi teaches that it’s pleasant in the springtime. Hashem is including this small chesed to teach us a valuable lesson. In order to appreciate the great chasadim, we have to appreciate the small ones. Hashem pays attention to small details for us. Also, we learn that the Jews walked on hard ground when they crossed the Yam Suf. This made the crossing more pleasant. They didn’t get muddy. The essence of Pesach is thanking Hashem for what He has done for us. The Haggadah is the fullest expression of thanksgiving to the Ribbono shel Olam.
There is a debate in the Haggadah how many miracles Hashem performed for us at the Red Sea. Rabbi Welcher emphasized that the y’sod of the chag of Pesach is recognizing all that Hashem does for us individually and collectively all throughout our history.
Pesach brings the most stringent approach of all the celebrations of our holidays. He explained the reason for this with a mashal. Suppose someone brought you lunch every day for a year. As a thank you, you decide to buy him a steak sandwich. You wouldn’t give him dried out meat and stale bread. In the same way, we show our expression of appreciation to the Ribbono shel Olam. We are thanking Hashem for all He has done. At this time of thanksgiving, we strive to make sure that everything we do is serving Hashem in the highest level possible. This is how we express our thanks to Him. We don’t want to use short-cuts.
“The y’sod of Pesach is kashrus. Each family has minhagim more than any other chag. This is one of the universal features in klal Yisrael. This is the only time of year when there is no bitul. We are serving Hashem to express our thanks.
Rabbi Welcher then pointed out that we are an eternal people. From Avraham Avinu to the present day is almost 4,000 years. Pesach celebrates the eternity of the Jewish people.
Rav Yosef B. Soloveitchik taught that all celebrations stem from halachah. The essence of the halachah expresses all that the chag is about. On Pesach, kashrus is at the highest level of the year.
Our joy on Yom Tov is commensurate with the effort we expend on it. The Chovos HaL’vavos teaches that the more effort we expend on something, the more precious it becomes to us. This is how it is with our children. They are so precious to us and we put so much effort into raising them.
Rabbi Welcher then detailed halachos of kashering for Pesach. The shiur ended with an informative question-and-answer session.
Queens is grateful to have this wonderful annual Pesach shiur.
By Susie Garber