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,
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
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.
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.