Drash Cards for Pesach (5761)
by Marc Mangel
• The Mussar response to the enlightenment was to seek the ethical/self-improvement aspects of Torah observance.
• There is a chain from Israel Salanter to the Alter of Kelm to Yehudah Lieb Chatman who teach that we should examine not our deeds by our intentions.
• Salanter said “It is easier to go through the entire Talmud than to change a single trait”
• Yehudah Leib Chatman notes that the four sons are NOT four personalities. Rather we are a mix of traits — one minute wise, one minute wicked, one simple and one unable to ask
• Wise means that we are ready to take on a mitzva
• Wicked means that we conclude the mitzva is not relevant to my life
• Simple that we do not understand the purpose of the mitzva
• Don’t even know how to ask means that we don’t know there is a relevant mitzva
• We thus have a new way to read about the four sons in a way that is meaningful for all of us. And we should aim to change the mixture of the four traits.