It seems rather strange that the answer given to the rosho in the Haggadah is not the same one given in the Torah. In the Torah (Parshas Bo) the rosho directs his question at the Korban Pesach. The Torah proceeds to explain why this korban is brought and what it teaches, yet the Haggadah ignores the Torah’s simple answer. Instead we brush the rosho aside by telling him that “had he been there then he never would have been taken out.” Why don’t we give him the same answer that the Torah gives him? Why insult him and disenfranchise him completely?
Also, why does the rosho deride the Passover lamb more than any other mitzvah? Why doesn’t he also ask about the matzoh or morror or any of theTorah’s other mitzvos?
One also wonders why the answer given to the rosho actually appears to be the one that the Torah tells us to give to the “she’eino yode’ah lish’ol”?
The answer may be that the Haggadah addresses the rosho of today who has already studied the entire Torah and seen the answer, yet refuses to accept it. To repeat it to him would be useless – Having a dialogue with him is an exercise in futility; he is convinced that he knows more than 3,300 years of Jewish generations.
The mitzvah that bothers him in particular is the Korban Pesach. Matzoh and morror are fine with him. These he can easily accept. But slaughtering the Egyptian idol is more than he can swallow. He believes in religious pluralism. Why offend other peoples’ religion? Why roast it on a fire so that all the goyim can smell it and know that Jews are intolerant of the irreligious beliefs? Why put the blood on the door post where everyone can see it? Why provoke the goyim? We must learn to show tolerance for each other. How dare we not allow an uncircumcised Jew to eat from the Korban Pesach? How dare we discriminate against another Jew just because he refuses to physically appear like a Jew? Doesn’t he have a right to do as he pleases? How dare we deny the democratic and human rights of any Jew to worship or not worship as he pleases. What right do we have to exclude the spiritually impure and tell them to purify themselves and come back a month later? Jews must be united despite our physical and spiritual differences, he insists. How dare we delegitimize fellow Jews because of their different beliefs? All Jews must be given equal status. We dare not disenfranchise those who wish to adapt to today’s modern culture. Didn’t Hitler treat us all thesame?
The rosho starts “logically” by abrogating the laws of the Korban Pesach, but ends by making changes to all the Mitzvos. He wants to kindle his Chanukah lights alongside their Christmas trees. He speaks in their churches, and then he invites the priest to speak in his synagogue. These are modern times, he insists. Today’s rabbis are living in the past.They are “extremists, radical and fanatic … a medieval chief rabbinate that is a disgrace to the Jewish people and to its religion, ” saysRabbi(!?) Eric Yoffie at a convention of Reform rabbis, that had as its guest speaker none other than Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, the head of theNational Council of Churches, who is campaigning to make Jerusalem an international city! Tell him to destroy the Egyptian or other avodah zoros? He won’t hearof it. A dialogue with him is useless. He is more at ease with the Pope of Rome than with the Chief Rabbi of Israel. Tell him what the Torah says? It’s old and antiquated, he insists. Shabbos? Kashrus? Halachic divorce? Conversions? These are things of a time gone by. We’ve got to bring these laws up-to-date so that they are made attractive to modern day culture!
To Rabbis(?) like him and his ilk who make a mockery of the Jewish religion and all that is sacred, the only possible answer is: “Ve’af ata hak’heh es shinov ve-emor lo, ‘ilu hayo shom lo hayo nig’al.'”
But to those thousands of others, the “tinokos shenishbu,” who are being misled by them and are unfortunately in the category of the “she’eino yode’a lish’ol,” our response must be, “Ve’at pesach lo.” We must do everything possible to bring them back into our fold and show them what true, living Judaism is all about. Yet we must at the same time make them aware that they are being misled and misguided by their so-called rabbis whose practice of Judaism consists of matzah ball soup served along with Levy’s Rye Bread and who are teaching them a religion that’s not much different or legitimate than is “Jews for J.”! Yes, they too must be told in no uncertain terms that their leaders have absolutely no legitimacy for “had they been there, they would not have been redeemed,” – “Ilu hayo shom, lo hayo nig’al.”