chad gadya rks dvar torah

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					                                                                                      ‫ חיים ליבמן‬Craig Liebmann
                                     ‫- חד גדיא‬Chad Gadya-(An Only Kid)
          Chad Gadya was originally written in Aramaic and was modeled on German folksongs. It has no
clear connection to Pesach and was added to the Ashkenazi Haggadah in the 16th century (1500’s). Then
why is this ballad given such a prestigious spot in the haggadah? This is the last song that is sung, that last
prayer that is prayed, the last hymn that is hymned, before we retire from the seder table. Should it not have
some significant meaning? Shouldn’t the haggadah end with a prayer? Something that is powerful?
Personally, I would enjoy a nice little recap after a nigh filled with good food and spirituality. One answer
proposes that Chad Gadya is in fact a recap. Perhaps not a recapitulation of the seder, but a summary of the
history of the Jewish people. In this little “story,” the kid is bnei yisrael which G-d bought for two zuzim,
the two tablets which Moses brought down from Sinai. Then bnei yisrael were conquered by a foreign
power, each of which is mentioned in the song, with each one destroying its predecessor: the cat is Assyria,
the dog is Babylonia, the stick is Persia, the fire is Macedonia, the water is Rome, the ox is Saracens, the
butcher is the Crusaders, and the Angel of Death is the Turkish Empire. It is a song of our survival. Despite
all of these setbacks, we continue to persist today as a successful nation with its own state. Without looking
at the song with a magnifying lens I think is more beneficial to us. The message we receive at the end of the
seder is that there will always be another obstacle in our path towards G-d, and it is our mission to
overcome those hindrances and do so in a way which makes a chidush hashem.

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