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Monday, March 29

The Weekly Shtikle - Leil Seider

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Opa, Tovia Yehudah ben Yoel, a'h.

By the time we reach Nirtzah, it is understandable if all the divrei Torah have been exhausted as we bear down the home stretch. But I once saw a very nice piece on "Echad mi yodeia" in the hagaddah "Shiras HaLeviim," compiled by R' Aryeh Leib Lopiansky, one of my rebbeim from Ohr Yerushalayim. Thanks to Uncle Moishy, many of us probably know the entire text by heart - at least in English. So we know that "Ten are the Asereeeeeees... Hadibros." But wait, two are luchos that Moshe brought. Weren't the Aseres HaDibros written on the two luchos? How could the same item or concept occupy two spots in this song?

R' Chaim Soloveichik points out an interesting nuance in the davening for Shabbos morning. In "Yismach Moshe" we say "ushnei luchos avanim horid beyado vechasuv bahem shemiras Shabbos, vechein kasuv besorasecha." We refer to Moshe's bringing down the two stone tablets on which was written "shemiras Shabbos," and so it is written in Your Torah, etc. But what was written on the luchos was Torah. Yet, we treat it as two separate entities - it was written on the luchos and so it was written in the Torah. R' Chaim explains that there was a separate covenant regarding the Aseres HaDibros, (hence the name "luchos habris") exclusive of the covenant regarding the rest of the Torah and so they are treated as two entities. 

This same idea may be used to explain our song. The Aseres HaDibros have their own significance as part of the Torah. But the two luchos represented an additional covenant between HaShem and B'nei Yisroel and that is why they are listed as two entities.

In a footnote, the author brings from another hagaddah that the purpose of Echad Mi Yodeia is to ask us what comes to mind when we hear these numbers.  For someone who leads a true Torah life, these numbers will automatically conjure up thoughts of associated Torah concepts. With this explanation, the original question is essentially a non-starter.

Have a Chag Kasher veSamei'ach!

Eliezer Bulka

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