Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Mitzvot of Pesach - Discussing the departure from Egypt


The Torah expresses the mitzvah of sippur yetziat mitzrayim (re-telling the account of leaving Egypt) as a two-part mitzvah: (1) To talk about the events of our departure from Egypt, and (2) To thank Gd for engineering that miracle. The Torah says we should do this while eating the korban pesach, and so we, in the absence of a korban, do this at our seder; the Sefer haChinuch lists this as the 21st mitzvah in the Torah.

The Tzlach (Berachot 12b) noted that there is a separate mitzvah of mentioning our departure from Egypt on a daily basis, and the gemara even discusses the possibility that such a mitzvah might apply nightly as well. Nonetheless, that on-going mitzvah is not included in the standard count of the 613 mitzvot. The Tzlach suggested that this omission may be because the pasuk from which the lesson is derived says, “So that you will remember,” and does not command, “You shall remember.”

Chag kasher v'sameach,

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