At the beginning of Parshas Va’eira Moshe tells Bnei Yisrael that Hashem will take them out of Mitzrayim, bring them into the land that Hashem promised, and give them the land. The passuk states, “ולא שמעו אל משה מקצר רוח ומעבדה קשה, and they did not accept this from Moshe, because of the short breath and hard work.” The Seforno explains that Bnei Yisrael were not able to accept this message from Moshe and be able to trust in Hashem. Had it not been for their physical oppression they would have believed that Hashem would save them. The Seforno says because they did not believe, despite their good excuse, it was not fulfilled by them “ונתתי אותה לכם, and I will give it to you,” however it will be given to their sons. We see from here that if one doesn’t believe in something, he does not have a connection to that thing, and is not entitled to be part of it. Therefore, Bnei Yisrael who were suffering and weren’t able to believe that Hashem would take them out and bring them into Eretz Yisrael, were not given the land.
In this week’s parsha the passuk states when your children will ask, “what is this avodah?” You shall respond to them, it is a זבח פסח for Hashem who was פסח over the houses of Bnei Yisrael, when He smote the Mitzri’im and saved our houses.” What does the lashon פסח hint at? Rashi explains in a number of places that this korban is called זבח פסח- a pesach slaughter, because Hashem was “פסח – jumped over” the houses of Bnei Yisrael and spared them, while smiting the first born of the Mitzri’im alone. Onkelos often translates פסח as “a slaughter of mercy,” because Hashem had mercy over the houses of Bnei Yisrael. Hashem had mercy on Bnei Yisrael and skipped over our houses to save us from makas bechoros.
The Seforno explains the question of the children and the response as follows. Your children may ask a few questions: 1- What is the avodah of the korban-pesach which is on the 14th but is not on a day of מקרא קדש-Yom Tov. 2- Also, it is not within the time of all other korbanos, which are between the tamid shel shachar and the tamid shel bein ha’arbayim. 3- Lastly, why isn’t one korban enough for everyone? The answer is that this korban was commanded to be slaughtered on the 14th of Nissan, in the afternoon, in anticipation that Hashem will jump over Bnei Yisrael during that night, at midnight. Kodshim are not slaughtered at night – only during the day; therefore, they were commanded to slaughter the pesach-korban in the evening, which the night follows after it. By kodshim the rule is that the night follows the day; just as we find by learning Torah. We make a bracha in the morning for the entire day, and it includes the night that follows. Also, every single person was obligated to offer the korban-pesach because the miracle happened to each and every person in Bnei Yisrael, not only to the tzibur as a whole.
The HaKsav V’haKabalah says that by Bnei Yisrael taking the lamb for the korban-pesach on the 10th, which is the idolatry of Mitzrayim, slaughtering it, sprinkling the blood on the doorposts, roasting it whole, eating it in groups, not breaking bones, it expressed their complete belief in Hashem. They weren’t afraid of the Mitzri’im and therefore merited to be taken out of Mitzrayim.
Let us put our complete faith in Hashem despite the challenges which surround us.