Pesach First Day: The Three Names of Pesach



Published on: 4/23/16

Is there a way to make peace between our need to survive and the divine plan? Between man and God? Between heaven and earth.

Passover provides the answer. And based on the principle of learning lessons from everything around us, we can derive a lesson from Google Inc. – the parent company that owns Google, YouTube etc., who has recently changed its name to Alphabet Inc. What can this name-change teach us?

For starters, it brings to mind that our holiday has three names: 1) “Passover,” 2) the “Festival of Matzoth,” and 3) the “Time of Our Liberation.”

The great lover of the Jewish people, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, teaches us something magical and humbling – that all these three names describe a different aspect of the festival:

1) “Passover” is how man calls the festival, an earthly view of the wonder of the divine

2) “Festival of Matzoth” is how the Torah calls it, a heavenly reference to the humble beauty of man

3) Together, they form a prayer ladder – rooted on earth, but touching heaven – and this holiday becomes the “Time of Our Liberation”

We tend to one extreme or another – either we glorify God and marginalize ourselves, or we glorify ourselves and marginalize God. The “Time of Our Liberation” shows us how to bridge the two. Because this is what it’s all about: True freedom is about bridging both extremes, glorifying God and sanctifying our own inimitable selves.

This sermon binds it all together with the unleavened crunch of a heaven-opening and earth-shattering story about the Berditchever Rebbe.



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