Rabbi Galperin became the rabbi at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in June, 2009. He brings to our synagogue the youthful vigour and passionate beliefs of the Chabad movement. Rabbi Galperin is available to officiate at weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, funerals and other life events.
A Night of Leaping
The word Pesach, which means to "skip" or "leap," represents taking a quantum "leap" and "skipping over" the usual step-by-step process. The fact that this is the name of the holiday--as per Jewish custom--indicates that this is its central theme.
This theme is expressed in many ways. Among Them:
Leaping Over Justice
G-d redeemed Israel from Egypt, not in their own merit, but in the merit of their Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
Hence the verse in Song of Songs (2:8): The voice of my Beloved is coming, skipping (m'daleg) upon the mountains, leaping (m'kapetz) upon the hills. "My Beloved is coming" means that G-d is coming to redeem Israel from Egypt -- "skipping upon the mountains" -- i.e., in the merit of the "mountains" and the "hills," the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
As the Midrash puts it: G-d said, "Were I to look at the deeds of Israel, they would never be redeemed. Rather to whom do I look? To their holy ancestors....."
G-d skipped over normal calculations of justice--by which Israel would not merit redemption--and redeemed them in the merit of their ancestors.
Leaping Over the Set Time
Although they were meant to be Egypt for 400 years, G-d "leaped over" the calculations for the appointed time and redeemed them early (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 2:19).
Leaping over Spiritual Norms
Normally, Divine revelation is experienced in proportion to one's spiritual level and capacity. On this night, however, G-d was revealed in all his glory to the Israelites, who were not at all fit for such a revelation. In doing so, G-d "skipped over" all rules.
Israel's Leap from Egypt
The Israelites, who had fallen to the nadir of the Egyptian depravity, were suddenly redeemed by G-d and embarked on the path toward the highest revelation of G-d: the Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. This too, was a quantum leap.
G-d asks us to offer the Pesach offering to parallel His "leaping." This means that on this night we have the ability to make our own leap--to "skip over" the environment of exile in which we are immersed and leap toward true redemption of the spirit.
We are empowered to take more than a step or two towards living a more Jewish and G-dly life; we can leap toward the highest rungs.
Leaping to Unity
The notion of "leaping over" relates also to Jewish unity, to overcoming the false barriers that stands between one person and another, and between the individual and the community.
By "leaping over" our egos and liberating our G-dly core, we are able to unite with those around us, the greater community, and all of Israel.