Pesach Seder night – Hashem’s favorite night

Rama, Shulchan Oruch, Orach Chaim 481:2 – “This night is protected from the forces of evil.”

The Torah describes Seder night as a “night of protection” (Exodus 12:42), when Hashem personally took His beloved children of Israel out of Egypt. The original Hebrew lail shimorim is interpreted two different ways in the Midrash: First, it is a “reserved” night, since Hashem redeemed Israel from bondage on the night of the 15th of Nisan, he reserves this same night to redeem his children Israel in the future (Yalkut Shimoni, Bo, 210). Second, it’s a “protected” night (ibid), since Hashem’s divine presence repels all mazikim, the dark-side forces of evil.

“Night of protection” is no mere homiletic catchphrase; it’s anchored in religious law! The Abridged Code of Jewish Law (119:9), in explaining how to perform the latter part of the Seder, writes: “After grace following the meal, we pour the fourth cup. According to custom, we open the door in remembrance that tonight is a protected night and we fear nothing.”

A person can turn any night into a “night of protection” by simply pouring his or her heart out in personal prayer. Rebbe Nachman teaches that when a Jew desires to speak to Hashem, Hashem moves everything aside to listen. By virtue of our speaking to Hashem, we hasten the day of the ingathering of the exiles and the final redemption of our people, amen.

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