חד גדיא

Chad Gadya

  Adam Zarek

 

Among the most well known songs in the Seder is Chad Gadya, sung at the end of the Seder. It starts by telling us about a goat that is bought for two zuzim and goes on to describe a chain of events that occur to all the characters in the song. While the song seems to be nothing more then a child’s story, the interpretations of each of the verses connect the song to one of the themes of Pesach, expressing our belief that HaShem is the One, true G-d.

According to one commentary[1], the father and the goat represents HaShem ruling the world alone and then Avraham Avinu recognizing HaShem as his Creator. Avraham Avinu is the goat that the father, HaShem, “bought.”  He is weighed against the Creation, the two zuzim of Heaven and Earth.

The cat represents kingdom of Nimrod in Babylon that tried to destroy Avraham and threw him in a furnace. In Aramaic, a cat is a shunra. By rearranging the letters we get soneh rah, one who is evil and hates. Nimrod hated HaShem and thus tried to kill his representative, Avraham.

The dog represents Pharaoh who became the new superpower and enslaved Bnei Yisrael. Instead of the dog eating the cat, he only bit it. The reason for that is there was no direct war between Babylon and Egypt. Egypt rose to dominance and surpassed the kingdom of Nimrod to become the new superpower.

The stick is the staff Moshe used to punish the Egyptians and take the Jews out of Egypt. The stick symbolizes the kingdom of the Jews and especially the Davidic dynasty. The kingdom built the first great Jewish nation in Israel and built the First Temple in Jerusalem.

 The fire represents Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed the First Temple. HaShem sent him because Bnei Yisrael began to commit idolatry. His kingdom burned the stick of the Jewish people as a means of Heavenly justice for the sins of Bnei Yisrael.

The water is the kingdom of Persia that allowed the Jewish people to return to Israel and rebuild the Second Temple. The water doused the kingdom of Babylon and became the new superpower in the world. The prophet Jeremiah said of Persia, “Their voice will roar like the sea.”

The ox is the Hellenizers that destroyed the kingdom of Persia and became the new rulers of the Jews. They tore the Jews farther apart from their Judaism and closer to assimilation and idolatry.

The butcher represents the Roman Empire that destroyed the Second Temple and caused the world to focus on materialism. Rome is represented by the butcher because the Roman civilization has the most blood on its hands. Rome is the spiritual descendent of Edom who was born with red hair, red like the blood of the Roman Empire.

The angel of death will then turn the world upside down amid a great confusion everywhere. Prior to the coming of the Mashiach, the world will be as if everything is upside down.  Materialism will be the main focus of the world until the last kingdom, the Kingdom of HaShem, gains power.

HaShem will then destroy the materialism and the angel of death.  He will reign over the entire world and will bring the days of Mashiach.  The days of materialism and idolatry will come to an end and the Jews will be reunited again under the kingdom of HaShem in Israel with the building of the Third Temple.

 

[1] http://www.ohr.org.il/special/pesach/kidstuff.txt