If the more significant part of yetzias mitzrayim was only in the morning when they escaped the environment of Mitzrayim, like the Rav explained tonight, then why do we have the Seder at night and not in the morning?
The answer is that the Seder is the time of the eating of the korban Pesach. It’s an important part of the חג הפסח – it’s the finale of the חג הפסח which is a yomtivof its own that comes before the חג המצות. The yomtiv of Pesach entails the sh’chita by day and the eating by night. That’s the yomtiv of Pesach. And we eat the korban pesach at night because that’s the time when a very great thing happened. They put the blood of the korban pesach on the mezuzos and on the mashkof, and Hashem saw that and He passed over them. That happened at night. So the Pesach, the skipping over, happened at night time. And so the Seder, which in its original form was constructed around the korban pesach is at night.
Now, חג המצות is a different story. The significant teachings of the matzoh that we learned tonight are nimshach all seven days. A wise person makes sure to use all the days and nights of Pesach to think these thoughts and transform himself into a new person. All the days of Pesach are to be used to think the thoughts that we spoke tonight (see the shiurim from the Rav that we sent out overnight for more details on these “matzoh thoughts.”)
But that great significance of skipping over us – that was at night. That was a special lesson that we learned on Pesach night. The מכת בכורות was at night. בכל ארץ מצרים there was a צעקה גדולה, loud screams from all the Mitzri homes. In every home there was death and screaming. And we were sitting there eating the korban pesach and listening to the Mitzri’im crying out in their anguish. Hashem was making a very public declaration – a foundation of the Torah – that although the all nations of the world will go lost eventually, but the Destroyer will always skip over the Am Yisroel. That’s what the Pesach symbolized – that we will be forever. Forever and ever Hakodosh Boruch Hu will watch over and protect the Am Yisroel. It was a tremendous experience! That night was a night to remember! ליל שימורים! What does ליל שימורים mean? שימורים means to always remember it. To keep it always. To remember that night forever and ever.
Of course, the daytime lesson of the geulah, was also of utmost importance. But for the lesson of recognizing the miracles of Hashem, the night time is the most outstanding of all the opportunities. That’s why the Seder is so important. At the Seder we speak about what Hakodosh Boruch Hu did for us that night, when all over Mitzrayim we heard Hakodosh Boruch Hu bringing vengeance upon the Mitzri’im. And Pharaoh got up in the middle of the night. That was a neis too. In the middle of the night, for Pharaoh to run around looking for Moshe and Aharon?! All the great things happened that night. Hashem was פסח על בתי ישראל. And it was a portent, a prophecy for the future, that the Destroyer will always pass over our people, because we are the Am Olam, the eternal people. And that happened at night. And therefore, the Seder at night is the great opportunity to talk about these things and remember them.
TAPE # E-133 (March 1998)