Everyone prepares for Pesach; Jewish women the world over are scrubbing and cleaning; Men are running around shopping, cleaning, and taking care of myriad last minute things. Often we are so involved in the physical and logistical holiday preparations that we lack the wherewithal to contemplate the many questions on the moadim that are in the back of our minds. There are always seemingly troubling questions about the yom tov. There are always spiritual vistas that we know exist, but have not been able to access. This year, there is a new sefer in English that addresses many of the questions you always wanted to know about Pesach but for which you never had a chance to seek more than a perfunctory answer. As the yom tov that is the foundation of our emunah, Pesach certainly requires not only much physical preparation but extensive spiritual planning too! Whether it is achieving an enhanced understanding of the hallowed seder night or comprehending the lessons of Yetzias Mitzrayim or Kriyas Yam Suf, there is extensive inspiration to be gleaned from a heightened understanding of Pesach.
The newly released, striking, two-volume English sefer Dorash Dovid, written by Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita, on the moadim, does just that. It is a sefer that provides new insight and meaning to every area of Pesach as well as Shavuos, Bein Hametzarim, Rosh Chodesh, and Shabbos. It is a sefer that asks many of the questions that lurk beneath the surface. The thought-provoking questions lead to stimulating, inspiring answers that challenge one’s intellect and leave one with a practical lesson to incorporate into one’s personal service of Hashem.
In this unique work, Rav Dovid Hofstedter analyzes the moadim of Pesach and Shavuos and offers insights into the Three Weeks and Tishah B’Av, Rosh Chodesh, and the weekly “holiday” of Shabbos. Virtually every aspect of these special times is covered extensively, with a focus on discerning each yom tov’s message for us. In Dorash Dovid, there are more than 40 ma’amarim on Pesach and an additional 60 ma’amarim on Shavuos, Bein Hametzarim, Shabbos, and Rosh Chodesh!
This newest addition to the Dorash Dovid library comes on the heels of the release of the Hebrew edition on moadim last year. Dorash Dovid on the entire Torah and the two-volume English Dorash Dovid on Chumash have also sold many thousands of copies and continue to enrich the Torah world, enhancing the Shabbos of scores of individuals, week after week.
Every ma’amar in Dorash Dovid begins with several questions and then develops an in-depth approach, opening new vistas that enable one to truly grasp the messages imparted by the Torah and our Sages. For example: Why do we invite all of the poor to come eat with us at the seder? By the time we are sitting at the seder saying “ho lachmo anya,” it is already too late. The seder has already begun and certainly they have already found a place. Even if they have not found a place, how would they even know they are being invited? After all, the invitation is being given at one’s own seder, behind closed doors! The only ones privy to the invitation are the inviter and his family members.
Why does the Haggadah state that the reason we eat matzah is because Bnei Yisrael’s dough did not have time to rise—when Bnei Yisrael had already been commanded to refrain from eating chametz before this happened?
On Shavuos: Why didn’t Bnei Yisrael wake up early on the day they received the Torah?
On Bein Hametzarim: How can a lack of feeling joy in serving Hashem result in destruction and exile?
Rav Hofstedter masterfully addresses these questions by delving into the inner meaning behind the mitzvos through Chazal, the Rishonim, and Acharonim. He has the uncanny ability to break down difficult concepts in a clear and concise fashion shedding new light and adding layers of meaning to the mitzvos of every yom tov.
This is certainly not Rav Dovid Hofstedter’s first contribution to the Torah world. He is founder and Nasi of Dirshu, the worldwide Torah movement that has impacted well over 100,000 participants. Through Dirshu, whose raison d’être is accountability in Torah learning among all segments of Klal Yisrael, Rav Hofstedter has transformed the lives of countless individuals. He has brought that same degree of accountability to kiruv rechokim with his founding of Acheinu, the kiruv arm of Dirshu. In addition, his sefarim Dorash Dovid al HaTorah in Hebrew and English have earned wide-ranging acclaim in the Jewish world. v