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Likkutei Shoshanim: Vaeira

The 25th of Tevet is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Moshe Tzvi Gitterman of Savran (1775-1838). Known as a genius as a boy, he was fluent in al of Seder Nezikin at the age of twelve. He learned chassidus from Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev and Rav Baruch of Mezhibuzh. After his father’s petira in 1802, he succeeded him as maggid of Savran.

After the petirah of the Ohev Yisrael, he became the foremost Rebbe in all of the Ukraine. Eventually, he became the Rav of the two kehillos of Uman and Keshinov, When Rav Baruch of Mezhibuzh was niftar in 1811, Rav Moshe Tzvi took on the mantle of Admorus, officially leading Chassidim. His Divrei torah are recorded in Likutei Shoshanim.

“Moses called to all the elders of Israel and said to them, Draw forth, or buy for yourselves one of the flock of your families, and slaughter the Pesach offering.” (Exodus 12:21) We know that the name of the Festival and its offering, Pesach, is an allusion to the fact that God passed over the homes of Israel when He smote Egypt. However, this didn’t happen until after they offered and ate the Pesach offering. Why does the verse describe them as “drawing forth” a Pesach Offering, if the act of Pesach had yet to occur?

We know that when a person desires to merit a miracle he must first extend himself in the performance of a great Mitzvah. Through his action he is able to “draw forth” the Infinite Light from the Hidden Worlds, the place where miracles are rooted, a place above the rules of nature, from which he can then draw forth the necessary miracle.

When the Children of Israel were willing to draw forth an animal for their offering, at great risk from the Egyptians who worshipped the animals, they performed such a mighty Mitzvah. They created the spiritual reality of Pesach when they took the animals, and hence it was known as Pesach even before the act of Passing Over took place.

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