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The Higher Order of the Seder

GYE Corp. Wednesday, 11 January 2012

This is based on a shiur available for download from by Rabbi Yaakov Labinsky (of Aish) entitled "Higher order of the Seder." This is but a distillation, and the reader is encouraged to listen to the original Shiur.

The avodah of the Pesach Seder is to go from avdus to cheirus. Avdus means a physical, body orientation to life. Cheirus means a spiritual orientation. (For us, our avdus is our addiction.) According to the Arizal, there is a special koach in the Pesach Seder (first night only) called "dilug." This means jumping over, or passing over levels (hence the word "Pesach", meaning to pass-over). Normally, teshuva must be done in a stepwise fashion. If a person rises too far too fast there is increased danger of return to old habits. On Pesach night, these rules are suspended and a person can pass over levels not possible the rest of the year. But you must be prepared.

During the weeks leading up to the Seder, clean out the chometz in your spiritual life as best you can. And physically clean those rooms where your aveiros are done (I suggest the computer room and bedroom). Don't look at women. If you need to (and can keep it), take a vow that you won't do _______ from Rosh Chodesh Nisan until at least after Pesach. You can do it!

Erev Pesach, when burning the chometz, visualize your yetzer hara for lust being burned.

This is your kavanah during the seder:

There are four lashonos of geula, three of which represent release from degrees of enslavement. (In our case, it is enslavement to the yetzer hora for lust.) The first cup of wine goes with the first lashon, "v'hotzaysi." With the kiddush and drinking of the first cup, know that you are being taken out of the most severe level of enslavement. Next is the cup for "v'hitzalti." Saying the hagaddah and drinking this cup will free you from the next, somewhat lighter level of enslavement. Eat the matza and be humbled. Eat the maror and think about how bitter it is to be enslaved to the yetzer hora for lust. With the third cup, over bircas hamazon, all remaining vestiges of the enslavement will be removed from you. You are now free, but in great danger, because nature abhor's a vacuum. So the fourth cup, representing "v'lakachti" is drunk soon after the third. The t'filos we say over the fourth cup have to do with the future. With v'lakachti, we ask Hashem to take us for His. We commit ourselves to be His slave, rather than the slave of what we were just released from. Drink to your new relationship with the Borai Olam!

I used this approach two years ago, and have never relapsed. I continue to daven for sobriety and shmira in this area, and continue to work on this and other areas of yiras shomayim. I am an eved Hashem. There's nothing like it.

Chag Kasher Vsamayach