Why So Negative?

During the Rabbi’s Drasha last night, the Shikkerdovid was reading the Hagada and would like to pose a question and a possible answer. The Hagada says

Rabban Gamliel says: Whoever does NOT mention three things, has NOT fulfilled his obligation and these things are: Pesach offering, matza and marror.

The Question: Why is this statement in the negative? Would it not be clearer or more elgant to say: In order to fulfill the mitvza of the Seder, one must say Pesach, Matz Marror. Why so negative? Would it not be more productive to say it in the positive sense.

The Shikkerdovid would like to pose a possible answer and would love to hear more. The essence of this holiday is the rejection of chametz. The essence of the holiday is to negate, abolish or destroy chametz. We fulfill the essence of the holiday by NOT eating chametz. If you think about it, the mitzva of eating matza is only the first two days. The rest is a “reshus.” The mitzva which pervades the whole week is NOT to do something. It is the holiday of denial of chametz. It is the holiday of NO. In fact, the slightest bit of chametz ruins everything. There is no negotiation on chametz.

The lesson of fulfilling an obligation through “negating” or obstaining is usually not the Shikkerdovid’s favorite theme. However Rabban Gamliel warning to be careful not to overlook these themes is consistent with the message of chametz. Sometime a strict construction or a stern warning is required make way for true spiritual growth.

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2 Responses to Why So Negative?

  1. Emuna Daily says:

    Wow! The ShikkerDovid was not shikker when he came up with this! You are mamish a double threat; a chessed boy and a lamdin. Yasher Koach!

  2. Anonymous says:

    You – as always – are on to something. I was always struck by the fact that the first question in Ma Nishtana is not why do we eat matza on Pesach night but why do we not eat chametz. Read it carefully! I also like the idea that matza can only be made out of something that could have become chametz but didn’t. Finally, women are only obligated in matza only because they are obligated in the mitzvah of not eating chametz which is considered the flip side of that miztvah. Chag Kasher V’Same’ach from Herzliya! Enjoy both your Seders.😜

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