Friday, May 04, 2007

Daf Yomi - Chagigah 26 - LINGERING TASTE

The Gemora states: The Kohanim would lift the Table and show the festival pilgrims the showbread. They would tell them: “See how beloved you are before the Omnipresent; the bread is just as hot and fresh now (at the time of removal from the Table) as it was when it was arranged.” Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: There was a great miracle that transpired with the showbread. The showbread was placed on the Table on Shabbos, and it was subsequently removed the following Shabbos. For the bread to remain fresh in such a state was an open miracle.

There were many miracles that transpired in the Beis HaMikdosh; why was this the miracle chosen to show the pilgrims?

The Sfas Emes answers: The pilgrims attained extremely high levels of spirituality when they visited the Beis HaMikdosh during the festival. They felt the Shechina in close proximity. They observed the Kohanim performing the sacrificial offerings and were uplifted.

We wanted to ensure that the heights that they reached during the festival would not be lost and it was for this reason that the miracle regarding the showbread was displayed to them. The bread was placed on the Table the Shabbos before, but it can still remain hot and fresh the following week.

This also explains why we answer the wise son by the seder night; one is forbidden to eat anything after the eating of the afikoman. The discussions of emunah and bitachon, thanking HaShem for redeeming us and becoming the Chosen Nation brings us to spiritual heights that we never achieved before. We tell the wise son, don’t let this slip away. The taste of the matzah should linger in your mouth all throughout the night, demonstrating that it is our wish that the levels of sanctity and purity that have been reached should not be cast away.