Kinder Torah ©
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table
You Left Mitzrayim!
A book by Simcha Groffman
Kinder Torah for Pesach thru Shavuos
The Haggadah states, "In every generation one is obligated to regard himself as though he had actually gone out of Mitzrayim."
How can we possibly experience Yetzias Mitzrayim? The slavery and pain along with its cruelty and torture, the miracles of the plagues, the courage it took to sacrifice the Korbon Pesach, and the Divine Presence at the splitting of the sea. These were all awesome historic events. We sit comfortably in our homes. How can we transport ourselves back to Mitzrayim?
You Left Mitzrayim is a book for your family for Pesach thru Shavuos. It contains stories and Torah thoughts on the subjects of Kriyas Yam Suf, The Korbon Pesach, Shabbas HaGadol, Bedikas Chametz, matzah baking, Chol Ha'moed, Sefiras Ha'omer, Maamad Har Sinai, as well as many other topics to share with your children. It will help you capture and convey the special character of these miraculous days.
You Left Mitzrayim contains a special feature for your Pesach Seder - The Haggadah Companion. Our Sages praise the virtue of telling the story of Yetzias Mitzrayim at great length. This, in fact, is the secret of reliving Yetzias Mitzrayim. The Haggadah Companion contains selected Midrashim portrayed as stories, as well as original stories. They tell the story in vivid detail, putting yourself and your Seder participants into the events. You feel as if you were there. Using this book at the Seder table, will help the participants to fulfill the mitzvah, "In every generation one is obligated to regard himself as though he had actually gone out of Mitzrayim."
270 pages, 102 stories, 31 original illustrations by Tova Katz.
Available from the author - Simcha Groffman
$18.00 plus postage.
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All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman
Chol HaMoed Pesach
When Eating Becomes a Mitzvah
"Mmmm, this chicken is delicious, Mommy."
"And the carrots and potatoes are out of this world!"
"I agree with the children, dear. The food is outstanding. Thank you very much for cooking such a wonderful meal."
"Thank you for your appreciation. I appreciate it. However, I think you will agree with me that the most delicious food on the table is ... the matzah."
"We love matzah!"
"Go right ahead and eat all the matzah that you want, kinderlach. According to the Vilna Gaon, you get a mitzvah for every kezayit of matzah, that is, every piece the size of an olive, that you eat."
"Yes. The Chasam Sofer loved and cherished the mitzvah of matzah dearly. He explains that we were once able to fulfill many mitzvot from the Torah by eating. We ate from the holy sacrifices. The Kohanim and Leviim ate trumah and maaser. We ate maaser sheini in Yerushalayim. On Pesach, we would eat the Korbon Pesach! Nowadays, only one mitzvah of eating remains - matzah. Therefore, it is very dear to us."
"Imagine that - getting a mitzvah by eating."
"It is an appetizing subject. Rav Shimshon Pincus takes a fascinating look at eating. He points out that eating is an activity that can bring us very close to our Creator. Before we eat, we are hungry, our body is weak, and we feel less alive. Then, the food goes into our mouths. We receive energy and strength directly from Hashem. His food gives our body the nourishment that it needs to function properly. He is giving us life! If we realize this when we eat, we can forge a very powerful and close bond to Hashem, by appreciating His gift of life."
"And eating matzah is an additional mitzvah besides that."
"Correct. We are not just eating any food. We are eating 'lechem oni,' the bread that reminds us of our slavery in Mitzrayim, and of how Hashem saved us. We are eating the bread whose baking is done at super speed, removing it from its natural fermentation process. It reminds us that when we, the Jewish nation, serve Hashem with the same speed and energy that we bake the matzas, we rise above the laws of nature."
"Amazing. Daddy, you have added an additional taste to this delicious food - the taste of a mitzvah."
Kinderlach . . .
Pesach is all about eating. The unique foods of the Seder, the Chol HaMoed meals, and the matzah. Rav Pincus teaches us that we can draw close to Hashem when we eat. How much more so during Pesach, when our meals become seudos mitzvah. And even more so because we are eating matzah, which is a mitzvah in and of itself, the last of its kind. Kinderlach, enjoy your Pesach meals. Not only because Mommy's food is delicious, but because you can taste the flavor of Hashem's mitzvos.
Always in the Sea
"And the Children of Israel came through the sea on dry land" (Shemot 14:22). Contrast this with the verse, "And the Children of Israel went on dry land through the sea" (Shemot 14:29). Why did the verses switch the order of the words, "dry land" and "sea"?
The Noam Elimelech answers this question as follows: When the Jewish people walked through the sea, they were on a very high madrayga (spiritual level). They saw and felt the awesome miracles that Hashem had performed for them. They were able to walk through the sea like a man walks on dry land. Contemplation of these wonders brought them to a realization that all of nature is as much of a miracle as the splitting of the sea. This is the madrayga of, "dry land through the sea." When you are on dry land, immersed in your daily life, you can still reach a madrayga in which you see yourself as if you were in the sea. The miracles of nature are as apparent to you as the miracle of the splitting of the sea.
Our Sages mention three things that are as difficult (so to speak) for Hashem as Kriyat Yam Suf - providing a person with food, finding a person's marital partner, and keeping a person's body functioning correctly. Imagine all of the might and power it took to split the sea. Think of the precision it took to blaze twelve tunnels through the water, tile them with marble floors, and supply them with fruit trees and beautiful aromas. Consider the drowning of the Mitzrim in the sea. This was a technological feat unparalleled in history! Or was it? Our Sages tell us that the feats that make up everyday life are no less amazing. It is just that we do not notice them. All we have to do is work a little bit harder to see the hidden miracles in these events.
Kinderlach . . .
Just imagine that you were there at the Yam Suf. The situation looked hopeless. Then you plunged into the sea. The water was cold, up to your nose. Suddenly the sea split, in all of its glory and magnificence. You were saved and the Mitzrim were drowned. Imagine how you would sing Shira with all of your heart. That is how we should say it every day. Did you eat a delicious lunch today? Hashem's providing that food is as big a miracle as the Yam Suf. Are you healthy? Another miracle. What about Mommy and Daddy? How did they find each other and get married? Yet another miracle. Think of these things, and put all of your heart into thanking Hashem for them and for all of His acts of kindness.
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"SIMCHA'S TORAH STORIES"
A Children's book by Simcha Groffman
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