#PesachPrep: T minus 17 Days: This is Elazar ben Azariah, and These are (all) the Days of our lives!

Another segment of the Hagada that one could perhaps do without.

אָמַר רִבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה, הֲרֵי אֲנִי כְּבֶן שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה, וְלֹא זָכִיתִי שֶׁתֵּאָמֵר יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם בַּלֵּילוֹת, עַד שֶׁדְּרָשָׁהּ בֶּן זוֹמָא: שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר “לְמַעַן תִּזְכֹּר אֶת-יוֹם צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ” (דברים טז,ג)–“יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ”, הַיָּמִים; “כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ”, הַלֵּילוֹת. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים “יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ”, הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה; “כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ”, לְהָבִיא אֶת יְמוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ.

Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah said: “I am like a man of seventy years old, yet I did not succeed in proving that the exodus from Egypt must be mentioned at night-until Ben Zoma explained it: “It is said, `That you may remember the day you left Egypt all the days of your life;’ now `the days of your life’ refers to the days, [and the additional word] `all’ indicates the inclusion of the nights!”

I don’t mind the discussion, but what does it have to do with the Seder? The mitzvah under discussion is the daily (or perhaps twice-daily) verbal recollection of Yetzias Mitzrayim; not the annual event of the Seder!

For years, this bothered me. Until I paid attention to the line whose word “All” is being interpreted. Here it is:
א שָׁמוֹר, אֶת-חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב, וְעָשִׂיתָ פֶּסַח, לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ: כִּי בְּחֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב, הוֹצִיאֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִמִּצְרַיִם–לָיְלָה. 1 Observe the month of Aviv, and keep the Passover unto the LORD thy God; for in the month of Aviv the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.
ב וְזָבַחְתָּ פֶּסַח לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, צֹאן וּבָקָר, בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר-יִבְחַר יְהוָה, לְשַׁכֵּן שְׁמוֹ שָׁם. 2 And thou shalt sacrifice the Passover offering unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to cause His name to dwell there.
ג לֹא-תֹאכַל עָלָיו חָמֵץ, שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תֹּאכַל-עָלָיו מַצּוֹת לֶחֶם עֹנִי: כִּי בְחִפָּזוֹן, יָצָאתָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם–לְמַעַן תִּזְכֹּר אֶת-יוֹם צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ.
3 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for in haste didst thou come forth out of the land of Egypt; that thou mayest remember the day when thou came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.

(Forgive the “thou”s.)

Don’t you see what’s going on?!
The passage is not telling us to remember the day we left Egypt all the days of our lives. It’s saying something else. It’s saying, “Observe Pesach…that you may remember the day you left Egypt ALL the days of your life.”

An amazing idea: If you do this thing, one day (or one week, depending on the context), you will then have the fortitude to remember this event ALWAYS!

And that’s why we read it at the Seder. All the rabbis, regardless of their view of the nighttime thing, are saying that the potency of Seder night is such that the taste remains, always. A great preamble to the Mitzvah!

3 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for in haste didst thou come forth out of the land of Egypt; that thou mayest remember the day when thou came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.

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