Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Enemies and Enemies, Lavan and Esav

Good moed,

In the Haggadah we read at the Passover Seder, we talked about the desire of Lavan to destroy the Jewish people, as he pursued Yaakov. It is odd that we singled out Lavan, and never even mentioned Yaakov's brother, Esav, who also tried to kill him!

The Maharal of Prague explained that we mention Lavan on Pesach night because his brand of hatred represents the unique enmity faced by Jews through the generations. Esav tried to kill Yaakov because Yaakov received the blessings, but Lavan hated without cause - Yaakov had only helped him grow in wealth, and now Lavan wanted to kill him. Thus we mention Lavan's hatred at the Seder, reminding ourselves of the hatred we have faced, and the fact that Gd has saved us time and time again, even from such irrationally implacable enemies.

Have a great day,

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