Much ink has been spilled and much discussion ensued trying to analyze the difference between the question of the chacham and the rasha. There appears, on the basis of the question alone, little reason to identify one as wicked and the other as wise.
Mashechet Pesachim details the events of the busiest day of the year, beginning with the search for chametz the night before the seder, the destruction of such the next morning, and the bringing of the korban pesach in the afternoon; and concluding with the seder in the evening. The contours of the seder, the oldest of Jewish rituals, are detailed in the Mishnah.
With the destruction of the Temple, the focus of the seder menu shifted from the eating of the korban pesach to the eating of matza. The importance of eating the korban pesach is such that it carries the punishment of karet, excision, for those who neglect it (along with only one other positive mitzva, that of brit milah). The original paschal lamb was what allowed the Exodus to occur.
Great poetry resonates across generations and even cultures, with all finding different layers of meaning that speak to them. Yet at the same time, many great poets with the ability to speak on many levels are writing about themselves, reflecting their personal triumphs and tribulations, which in turn reflect the highs and lows of so many others.
The Netziv, in his commentary on Chumash, explains that the first verse of the priestly blessing "May G-d guard you and protect you" has different connotations for different types of people. For one engaged in business, we ask G-d to bless us with great material success, yevarechecha, and that such success does not destroy our character, veyishmerecha.
G-d's greatest gift to man is that He created us in His image. As heretical as it sounds, man and G-d are, in effect, opposite sides of the same coin. Flowing from this is the notion that all aspects of our relationship to G-d must be reflected in our actions towards man, and our actions towards our fellow man must be reflected in our relationship to G-d. This can best be seen in the aseret hadibrot, which can be read both vertically and horizontally.
Our Sages have long recognized that the desires for money, honour, and sexual gratification are most powerful. Avoiding sin in these areas, something most difficult in practice, makes one worthy of praise—from G-d Himself.
"Rav Yochanan said: Concerning three [people] does G-d proclaim [praise] every day: on a bachelor who lives in a city and does not sin, on a poor person who returns a lost object to its owner, and on the wealthy [person] who tithes his produce in secret" (Pesachim 113a).
Today's daf is sponsored by Arthur Little in observance of the Yahrzeit of his father, Areyeh Ben Avraham Yitzhak z"l, Leonard Little. May we share in smachot.
Perhaps the major social issue facing the Orthodox community today is defining the proper role for women within the observant community. While the specific issues may be different, the discussion of women's role in ritual has a long history. Two issues that may seem trivial today concerned some of the most basic aspects of the Pesach seder.