Right on Time
And the Eternal said to Moses, “I will bring but one more plague upon Pharaoh and upon Mitzrayim; after that he shall let you go from here; indeed, when he lets you go, he will drive you out of here one and all.”
From there, God details the horrible calamity that will befall the Egyptian people, giving clear instructions to the Israelites in order to spare them from the last plague. Also spelled out are the precise directives regarding the Passover sacrifice.
Chapters Eleven through Fourteen of the book of Exodus convey a certain urgency. As if to say, the time has come. It is time to leave. Now.
Imagine, if you will, the following reaction:
Now? I mean, does it have to be now? Now’s not so convenient, Eh’yeh Asher Eh’yeh. If that’s really Your Name. How about this weekend? This weekend would be better. Traffic’s not as much of a problem. And all the kids will be here. Does this weekend work for you?
Sounds meshugganer, no? And yet…
This is exactly what one is doing when having a seder on some other night in lieu of the night commanded by God. Which night is that? According to the Torah (Exodus 12:18), “in the first month [i.e. the month of Nisan], on the fourteenth day of the month at evening….”
Certainly there are many compelling reasons why a family might have trouble gathering everyone for the first night…or even the second night…and therefore select another night to join together. In such cases, the individuals should still hold or seek out a seder in order to fulfill the commandment.
For the record, I hold the same position for every other festival mandated by God. They are to be observed in their correct times.
After all, God’s expecting us…