Korban Pesach – a Symbol of Unity

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The korban Pesach is quite unique and very different from all other korbonos.
First of all it must be roasted over a fire. It must be eaten only by a group that has
joined together beforehand. One is not permitted to break any bones in order to eat
the marrow within them.
All these special laws are a sign of togetherness or unity. Roasting solidifies a
food while cooking breaks it apart. The only way to gain true freedom is to join
together and become one. Labor unions have proven the power of solidarity. There
is no greater power than when Jews are united as one people. This is the meaning
of “vayhei b’yeshuron melech b’hisasef roshei om yachad shiftei Yisroel.” Only when
there is peace and unity amongst us does G-d reign over us, is how Rashi explains
this posuk. (See Devorim 33:5) There is no greater strength than the power of
togetherness. “Hinei matov u’mah noim sheves achim gam yo’chad.” There is nothing
as beautiful and enjoyable as achdus – togetherness. The Seder table includes all
four sons, even the wicked one.
Unfortunately we suffer greatly because we have become so fragmentized. While
the Baal Shem Tov’s dream was to join all Jews together by showing great love for
every Jew no matter who he was, from where he came, what color be his skin and
no matter what his learning level was, his great dream has unfortunately remained
We have been fragmentized into hundreds of parts and even broken each other’s
bones in struggles for power, money and other foolishness. The hatred and strife
between different groups of Jews including chassidim has not improved much since
the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh nearly two thousand years ago. The fires of
sinos chinom are still raging everywhere without any sign of dying out. They reach
from the low shrubs to the highest mountains.
How many more years of golus must we suffer before we get to our senses and
realize that the basis of the entire Torah lies in “V’ohavta l’reiacha ko’mocha.” – loving
others as much as ourselves. Rabbi Akiva’s students suffered a great tragedy when
24,000 of them died in a terrible plague sometime between Pesach and Sh’vuos. The
Gemara tells us that it was because they failed to respect each other properly. We
still mourn for them today by making a few external changes but do little to actually
change internally. We must begin to realize that Jewish unity is the basis of our
survival. The Gemara tells us that despite the Jews serving idols in the time of King
Achov, his army was victorious in all their battles only on account of the great unity
there existed among Klal Yisroel.
While we certainly must admonish the sinful, it must be done with great love
rather than in hate. Words of hate bounce right back at oneself while words of love
enter another person’s heart as chazal say “devorim ha’yotzim min ha’lev, nichnosim
el ha’lvev.” – words that come out from the heart enter into the heart. If we want our
words to be listened to, let’s try saying them with heart rather than with hate, with
love rather than rage!
Only by joining together and holding each other’s hand and living in peace and
harmony with one another can we merit that Hashem extradite us from this long
dark and bitter golus. May it be sooner rather than later.