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Countdown to Pesach 13-Rav Shmuel Kariver

Rabbi Samuel Kariver, though very poor, resolved to ask for help from no one, no matter what. His Rebbe, the Seer of Lublin, became aware of this, and instructed a wealthy Chassid to buy all that was necessary for Pesach and deliver it to Rabbi Samuel.


Rabbi Samuel was so pleased that God had permitted him to adhere to his resolution to not ask for anyone’s help, that he performed the Seder service in high spirits. It seemed to him that he had attained a rare state of holiness.

The second evening, Rabbi Samuel was weary and worn, and lay down for a rest before the Seder. He fell asleep and awoke just a few moments before midnight. He had to partake of the Afikomen before midnight, and therefore was compelled to recite the Haggadah in a rush. This made him feel depressed, and he wondered whether any other Jew had ever been compelled to perform a Seder in such a rush.

When the he told the story to the Seer, his Rebbe said, “Your first Seder was of little merit. Your belief that you had flown straight to heaven was a sign of arrogance. Your second Seder, however, was of higher worth, inasmuch as humility and a knowledge of your frailties accompanied it (Hitgadlut haTzaddikim, page 66).”

An essential part of “Seeing ourselves as if we left Egypt,” is to live with the humility of a slave, not to focus on how beautiful is our Seder and Pesach, how Kosher and how strict; but with a sense of humility, with awareness of our frailties.

iPray-iAttach-Amidah: “My Master, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.” We open each Amidah with the humility that we lack the ability to praise God without His help!

Haggadah: “Originally, our ancestors were idolaters.”

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