Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kol Dichfin

The Seder begins with the cryptic phrase: Kol Dichfin Yesei V’Yeichal; Kol Ditzrich Yesei V’Yifsach. All who are hungry let them come and eat; all who are in need, let them come and celebrate Pesach. What is the connection of this to the Hagadah? The Gemarah in Taanis (20b) tells us that the Amora Rav Huna used to invite people to his meals this way regularly not only on Pesach. What is it about this phrase that connects it to Pesach Seder?

Rav Soloveitchik provides us with an answer.

This is an expression of Cherus the status as a free people that we are required to feel. Inviting people to join in a meal helps establish that. Only a free man can invite others to join him for a meal. A slave cannot do that. He does not ‘own’ a meal that he can invite anyone to. There is a Halachic principle of Ma SheKoneh Eved, Konah Rabo. What ever a slave takes possession of - automatically belongs to the master.

The Vilna Gaon adds that there is an element of Tzedaka involved here. That of Moes Chitin a Halacha mentioned in Talmud Yerushalmi. By inviting the ‘those in need’ to a meal one fulfils this Mitzvah.

With respect to the second portion of that phrase, there is a Mitzvah to count others into a single Korban Pesach. This is called a Chabura. The Rambam tells us tht even though one may shecht and eat the Korban Pesach alone - one should avoid opt for shechting and eating it with a group of neighbors or friends.

This is what the second part of the phrase makes reference to. It does not apply to the p[oor the way the first part of the invitation does. It applies to everyone as a reference to the preferable method of eating the Korban Pesach in a Chabura.

Rav Solovetchik explains that fourth question of the Mah Nishtana is better understood this way. The word Mesubin, which refers to reclining is used in the context of a Chabura. That is the way that word is used in a Braisa in Meseches Brachos (46b). There it states that one should not sit (Yaseiv) in a Chaburah of Amei Ha’aretz. So here too it is used in that way: Mesubin in a Chabura.

Updated: 3/28/10 - 6:47 PM CDT