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The Foundation Stone Haggadah: Themes of the Haggadah 11

The first paragraph after “Ma Nishtana” reads, “…the more one speaks about the Exodus from Egypt, the more he is praiseworthy.” The Ishbitzer Rav has a very interesting reading of this statement. He says that wherever we speak of speaking, the less you say, the smarter you are. Therefore, someone who gives classes all the time is obviously an idiot! So the less you speak, the better, as we say, “The best way to protect your wisdom is silence.

When we praise God on Shabbat morning in the piyut, “Ha’aderet v’Emunah Chai haOlamim,” one of the praises we say is “Hadeah v’Hadibur.” This means “Knowledge and speech belong to He who lives forever.” That is to say that the only one who can speak and not be stupid is God. The Ishbitzer asks how then can there be a mitzva on Pesach to talk and talk about the Exodus, if we have this concept that the less that is spoken, the better? The Ishbitzer answers that the real meaning of “Harei Meshubach” is not just to be praiseworthy. In Halachic terms, it means something that increases in value. The more involved we are in retelling the Exodus from Egypt, the more we increase in value. Therefore, our excessive speech can’t damage us.

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