Pesach - From Child to Adult
A clip taken from ‘Getting To Know Your Home’ Chapter 11 (Pleasure and Pain In Marriage)
When it comes the Seder on Pesach night, there are some people who were used to a noisier seder when they were younger, and when they get older and are now at the age of 20, 25, 30 and beyond, they lose that spark they had as children; they find that they have lost their feelings for the seder.
A child can sleep for 2 hours before the seder, so he can come into Pesach refreshed and awake, whereas a married adult does not always have this option; he has a family to take care of, in addition to the fact that there’s a lot of hard work to be done before Pesach, which does not allow him to rest on Erev Pesach. By the time the seder arrives, he is fairly exhausted, and he does not feel excitement for the seder that he used to have.
He might try to inspire himself by picking up a new sefer about Pesach, or by going to a shiur from a speaker that has come to town. But he will find nothing works. The festival of Pesach cannot be felt properly through just hearing a nice ‘mussar’ thought which a lecturer has thrown into the audience on the night of Pesach.
What is the mistake that a person makes? It is because excitement works only for a child. When he was a child, as long as he had a new suit, and the table was set nicely, and the matzah smelled delicious, he felt Pesach. As an adult, he still retains those feelings, but it doesn’t help him feel the Yom Tov anymore. He is left without a taste for the Yom Tov. When he bites into his matzah on Pesach, it feels dry and tasteless, nothing more than the mix of water and flour that it is. That is all he’s feeling…
To truly experience Yom Tov, the feelings have to come from a whole new source than from until now. It is not about a child’s excitement anymore. The adult needs to experience the essence of the Yom Tov, and connect to it. There is nothing else for him to connect to.
Within this, there are two parts – there are concepts he can think about which are intellectually stimulating and cause him to think, and there are other parts to the Yom Tov which he feels emotionally connected to; but those ‘emotional’ aspects do not necessarily have to come from ‘excitement’.
Singing Halel by the seder at the top of his lungs, even screaming the words, will still not be enough to satisfy the adult’s need to experience the essence of the Yom Tov. A person can only connect to the essence of the Yom Tov when he can feel it in his soul.
The same is true for all other things as well: A true ‘feeling’ for something is not an emotionally charged kind of feeling. A true ‘feeling’ is when it is a feeling of the reality. It is something that can be felt on a daily basis, and throughout any given time of the day.
This doesn’t mean of course that a person should analyze the reality all day and write it down into a notebook in his hand. Rather, it just means that a person needs to breathe the reality that’s taking place in front of him - to feel it and live it.