By Rabbi Yair Hoffman
Every once in a while a Sefer comes along that not only stands out among others in its genre — it becomes an instant classic. The Torah V’Daas Hagaddah Volume II, compiled by Tsemach Glenn is just such a Sefer.
This hagaddah begins with biographies of Torah v’Daas’s Roshei Yeshiva. It also discusses, each in a separate section, the minhagim at the Pesach table itself of these leading Roshei Yeshiva. The Sefer has haskamos from leading Gedolim, including one from Rav Dovid Feinstein Shlita. The haskama mentions that the Hagaddah put in Torah from Rav Dovid’s brother-in-law, Rav Moshe Shisgal zt”l as well.
The Torah V’Daas Hagaddah Vol. II also features Torah from Rav Dovid Leibowitz zt”l, the Talmid of the Alter of Slabodka and Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein zt”l that “Nistar” Shraga Feivel Mendelevitch brought from Europe to lead America’s Talmidim. [See the section in B’Tzeis Yisroel MiMitzrayim.]
Rav Dovid Leibowitz zt”l explained that there are particular times that arise in a person’s life where decisive action is necessary in order to ensure that we no longer waiver in regard to our Torah values. The Yetzer Harah to take us away from Avodas Hashem is strong, often overwhelmingly so. The Mesilas Yesharim describes him as “K’ish Milchamah Umelumad B’armimus.” So what can we do in order to ensure that we not fall victim to his trap?
HaKadosh Boruch Hu gives us the answer to this question in the beginning of Parashas B’Shalach (13:17-18)..
Each explanation found in the Hagaddah has been compiled from the Pesach tables of the greatest of America’s Roshei Yeshiva, those that led Yeshiva Torah V’Daas for well near a century. Masterly written, almost every single thought printed in this work reveals a fundamental component of Judaism. Amazingly, each piece captures the essence of whatever is under discussion — Matzoh, Geulah, wine. The pieces were collected by Rabbi Tsemach Glenn and Rabbi Binyomin Zev Karmen.
Capturing the essence of Yom Tov is what makes this Hagaddah not just an ordinary Sefer, but a masterpiece of hashkafa. Hardly a page goes by without a remarkable revelation that can and does fundamentally change our perspective. This Hagaddah will certainly enhance your Pesach Seder.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Rabbi Yair Hoffman