In this week’s Parashah, Hashem instructs Mosheh as to the Halachot of the Korban Pesach. The Pesukim relate a number of specifications that must be met in offering and eating the Korban. These include the prohibitions of eating it raw and eating it after being cooked in water. Why does the Torah require us to make sure the Korban Pesach meets all of these specifications? One particularly puzzling Pasuk in this section states, “VeChachah Tochelu Oto Motneichem Chagurim Na’aleichem BeRagleichem UMakelchem BeYedchem VaAchaltem Oto BeChipazon Pesach Hu LaShem,” “So shall you eat it: your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; you shall eat it in haste – it is a Pesach-offering to Hashem” (Shemot 12:11). Rashi explains that one must eat it while ready to leave on the journey to Eretz Yisrael. Why did Bnei Yisrael have to be ready while eating it? They had to finish eating it by midnight, and the Torah clearly states later in the Parashah that they left Mitzrayim in midday! Finally, why does this puzzling Pasuk end with the words “Pesach Hu LaShem”? It seems quite unnecessary to state here that it is a Korban Pesach!
The Mitzvah of Korban Pesach was inherently pleasant to fulfill. No matter how many specifications there were, it was still a delicious roasted lamb or kid. This pleasure was compounded with the fact that the entire generation has never been able to eat a lamb or kid before this occasion, as it was the idol of the Mitzrim. Now, Bnei Yisrael were able to eat the Korban right before the Mitzrim’s eyes, and their oppressors were powerless to react. Bnei Yisrael may have thought that since their situation was finally good, there would be no reason to leave Mitzrayim and rise to higher spiritual levels in Eretz Yisrael. Hashem, therefore, instructed Bnei Yisrael to make the Korban exactly according to His specifications and appends “Pesach Hu LaShem” to the end of the Pasuk to remind them that the Korban is not for their personal enjoyment. It is instead a symbol of elevation from the depths of Mitzrayim to the heights of Eretz Yisrael. This is also why Bnei Yisrael had to be ready to leave while eating the Korban. The Korban symbolized their spiritual ascent to Eretz Yisrael, and they had to be ready for their physical ascent as well.
Later in this section, the Torah states, “UShmartem Et HaDavar HaZeh LeChok Lecha ULeVanecha Ad Olam,” “You shall observe this matter as a decree for yourself and for your children forever” (Shemot 12:24). Today, we cannot observe this mitzvah, so why does the Torah say that we shall make this Korban forever? Today, we live in a society where we can rise to great spiritual heights without fear. However, as symbolized by the Korban Pesach, one can always rise higher in Judaism. This message will be carried on forever.