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Why Don’t We Bless on the Story of Yetzias Mitzrayim?

As we prepare for Shabbos Pesach for the Kedusha of Pesach and with the hope that we will have the sense of Pesach. Let me share with you a few Vertlach that are related to the Haggadah and of course that are generally Yesodos Hachaim, ideas that we could use for life in general.


As you know, we do not make a Beracha on Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim. The Rishonim already ask a Kasha and they give various technical reasons for not making a Beracha on Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim.


The Sfas Emes has an explanation B’derech Hamachshavah. Something that doesn’t contradict the Rishonim but goes well with what the Rishonim say. The Sfas Emes says that in general we do not make a Beracha on any Mitzvah that is Bain Adom L’chaveiro. A Mitzvah which has to do with benefitting another human being. A Mitzvah like Tzedaka has no Beracha and even a Mitzvah like Kibbud Av V’aim (respecting ones parents) has no Beracha. The reason for that is because the Rambam has taught us that any Mitzvah which is a Mitzvah Sichli which is a logical Mitzvah is something regarding which a person should say I would do this Mitzvah even if the Torah did not obligate me to do so. That is the attitude that a person should have for Mitzvos Sichlios. The idea that even though the Torah did not obligate me to give charity even if the Torah did not obligate me to have respect for my parents I would do so anyway. When you have a Mitzvah which a person would do even if he was not obligated to do it is not appropriate to say a Beracha Asher Kidishanu B’mitzvosav V’tzivanu, blessing HKB”H for having commanded us to do this Mitzvah as if we are only doing it because we were commanded.


Says the Sfas Emes that is the reason that on a Mitzvah Bain Adam L’chaveiro such as giving Tzedakah we do not make a Beracha, because on a Mitzvas Sichli it is inappropriate to say that had Hashem given us holiness by commanding us to do this Mitzvah as if that is the reason, the motivation for doing the Mitzvah. That is true for all Mitzvos Bain Adom L’chaveiro. We talk about Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim which is not a Mitzvah that is Bain Adam L’chaveiro. It is something that is a Mitzvah Bain Adam L’makom. Nevertheless, the Yesod the main idea of Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim is feeling Hakaras Hatov, a thanks to HKB”H for having taking us out of Mitzrayim. Here too it makes no sense to say Asher Kidishanu B’mitzvosav V’tzivanu. This is a Mitzvas Sichli. It is a logical Mitzvah that we would have done even had we not been commanded. For that reason we make no Beracha. It is as if we are telling HKB”H this is a Mitzvah that we should understand to do even had we not been commanded. It is a beautiful thought.


The following is a Vort that it says in the new Pachad Yitzchok, the Ma’amarai Pachad Yitzchok on Pesach which was recently released. This is the very first Maimar there, a very beautiful Yesod and as you shall see it is a Yesod which I found in the Sefer Ohr Zarua Latzadik from Rav Tzodok Hakohen on page 13.


The Yesod is the following. We find that when Moshe Rabbeinu realized that people were going to reveal to Paroh that he had killed a Mitzri and that it would be Jews who would be revealing that news to Paroh that he had killed a Mitzri, he said as it says in Shemos 2:14 (אָכֵן נוֹדַע הַדָּבָר). Which by its simple meaning means the fact that I killed a Mitzri is known. But in a deeper sense as the Medrash says and Rashi alludes to briefly (אכן נודע הדבר: כמשמעו. ומדרשו נודע לי הדבר שהייתי תמה עליו, מה חטאו ישראל מכל שבעים אומות להיות נרדים בעבודת פרך, אבל רואה אני שהם ראויים לכך). Moshe Rabbeinu was saying (אָכֵן נוֹדַע הַדָּבָר). Now I understand what is happening. The fact that the Galus (exile) in Mitzrayim is not coming to an early end is because (נוֹדַע הַדָּבָר) now I know the reason. It is because that there are Jews among us who say Lashon Hora. There are Jews among us who speak ill regarding other Jews. So that the Aveira of Lashon Hora was an Aveira in Mitzrayim for which we were not redeemed.


With this says Rav Hutner we understand why the Mitzvah of Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim is a Mitzvah that is done with the mouth. It is a Mitzvah on the night of Pesach which involves speaking a lot. Usually we say S’yag L’chochmo Sh’tika that a wise man knows how to be silent. On this night we say (וְכָל הַמַּרְבֶּה לְסַפֵּר בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח). Somebody who speaks much is praiseworthy. Because this night, the Mitzvah is to be Mikadeish the Dibbur to give holiness to one’s speech as if to redeem the failure in Mitzrayim where Jews were not pure in speech.  This is Rav Hutner’s beautiful thought which of course explains why in the Haggadah we say (וַאֲפִילוּ כֻּלָּנוּ חֲכָמִים) even if we were all wise men it is a Mitzvah to speak about Yetizas Mitzrayim. I would think the reverse that even Am Horatzim (certainly Chachamim) have to speak about Yetizas Mitzrayim. What does it mean even Talmidai Chachamim?


The answer would seem to be because normally S’yag L’chochmo Sh’tika a sign of a wise man is silence. On this night (וַאֲפִילוּ כֻּלָּנוּ חֲכָמִים) even if we are all wise men (מִצְוָה עָלֵינוּ לְסַפֵּר בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם).

On Rav Hutner’s Yesod we can add that Klal Yisrael in the Midbar failed in a number of Nisyonos, but even after their failure they were still heading to Eretz Yisrael about to enter the land of Eretz Yisrael. When did it come to pass that HKB”H said stop I am not letting you into Eretz Yisrael?


That happened by the Cheit Hamiraglim, which is a sin that was associated with Lashon Hora. Whereas it says in Bamidbar 13:32 (וַיֹּצִיאוּ דִּבַּת הָאָרֶץ) the Meraglim spread a bad report on the land of Eretz Yisrael. Where the sin of Lashon Hora reared its ugly head once again. Here HKB”H said Ad Kan, you came out of Mitzrayim because you sanctified your speech and here you are failing again. This was the Aveira for which they could not enter Eretz Yisrael.


Similarly, during the sojourn in the Midbar when Miriam spoke Lashon Hora she was punished immediately. The entire camp of Klal Yisrael had to wait seven days and they had to cease their travel towards Eretz Yisrael. This was again because of the Aveira of Lashon Hora.


Rav Tzaddok in the Sefer Ohr Zarua Latzadik adds another totally different point but based on the same idea. We know that Maseches Pesachim starts with the words (אור לארבעה עשר בודקין את החמץ לאור הנר) Ohr L’arbaa Asar. It begins with the words the night of the 14th day of Nissan we do Bedikah. It uses the word (אור) light in place of Laylah which means night. The Gemara explains that the Mishna is coming to hint to us Shelo Yidabeir B’lashon Miguna, that a person should be careful to speak in a fine way. Even the word night which has negative connotations is replaced by the word Ohr or light as if to hint that a person should speak properly.


Why is this the first word of this Masechta? The hint of how to speak could have been in any Masechta or in any part of any Masechta. Says Rav Tzaddok, Zehu Haschalas Hamasechta L’horos Inyan Hamichunim Masechta Zu She’hu Inyan Hapesach. It is at the beginning of the Masechta to introduce us to the concept which this Masechta talks about and that concept is the Taharas Hadibbur fixing the Aveira of Dibbur Miguna of speaking improperly, of a lack of pureness of one’s speech. Very beautiful.


Rav Tzaddok adds that one of the virtues that Klal Yisrael had was a purity of Yichus when they left Mitzrayim they were praised with having a pure Yichus. The Yetizas Mitzrayim with a pure Yichus the Gemara says in Perek Asara Yuchsin is related to Taharas Hadibbur. Those who went out they came out with a Yichus and it became part of the Jewish mentality. Yichusa  D’kula Shtikasa. That the best Yichus is not a Yichus of a grandfather who is a Tzaddik, Talmid Chochom, or a Rebbe. Yichusa D’kula Shtikasa, the best Yichus is a family that is quiet at a moment that they can cause disputes or fights and a person who is quiet and backs off, that the Gemara says is Yichusa D’kula.

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