From the moment a Jew rises in the morning until the moment we go to sleep in
the evening we must constantly show our thankfulness, appreciation and gratitude to
Hashem for all He does for us. On the night of Pesach, when we tell the story of our
exodus from Egypt, it is not enough to just say thank you to Hashem for all He has
done for us, but we must spell out our thanks in detail for ever single act of kindness
shown toward us. Ha’koras hatov – recognizing and showing our appreciation for
the kindness shown toward us is a basic requirement and duty of a human being. We
must learn never to take things for granted and always thank those who do anything
for us – especially our parents and rebbeiyim, even for the smallest thing they do on
Imagine an American soldier discovering a young child in an Iraqi torture chamber.
He frees the child, heals his wounds, gives him food and clothing, punishes his
tormenters, gives him a home to live in, and even finds him a suitable girl to marry.
Just saying thank you to the soldier would certainly not be enough. One would have
HAGADAH SHEL PESACH
to show his appreciation and gratitude to the soldier for every single act of kindness
shown toward him.
So, too, on the night we celebrate our anniversary of our exodus from Egypt,
we don’t just give a general broad Thank You to Hashem for His great mercy and
kindness, but we spell out our appreciation and gratitude in very great detail. We
list off a total of fifteen acts of kindness which we are grateful for. Hashem not only
took us out of Egypt, but He also punished our oppressors and their gods. He killed
their firstborn and gave us their money. He split the Sea, took us across on dry land,
and drowned our enemies in it. He took care of all our needs in the desert for forty
years and fed us the mon. He gave us the Shabbos as a day of rest and brought us
to Har Sinai where He gave us the Torah. He brought us into Eretz Yisroel and even
built us a Bais Hamikdash to forgive for our sins. How thankful and grateful we must
be for Hashem’s every single act of kindness bestowed toward us. We must not take
anything for granted and show our appreciation for every act of kindness.
It is interesting to note that the number fifteen corresponds to the fifteen steps
leading up to the entrance of the Temple, as well as the fifteen Shir Ha’malos found
in Tehillim. It’s also the number of days to reach a full moon and the day of the
month we were taken out of Egypt.