“In the Talmud classrooms at Yeshiva University, small Hebrew signs were hung at the front of the room with the words quoting Rabbi Soloveitchik, ‘holiness can only be obtained with preparation.’ Holiness, in other words, is in the domain of man; man chooses to encounter it or not. Holiness relates to a mindset and the willingness to approach certain things and to treat time with the attitude of reverence.
“At the holiest moment in history, God’s revelation at Sinai, the Jewish people are summoned to prepare themselves. The Torah states, ‘prepare yourself for three days’ (Exodus ). Holiness is shown to be commensurate with preparation. The Rav (Rabbi Soloveitchik) also offered the following example: When the Torah speaks of Shabbat it says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day and sanctify it.’ An explanation of the verse is that there is a mitzvah in remembering and anticipating the Shabbat all week. We even count down to the day of Shabbat each week. Each day at the conclusion of the morning services we say: ‘Today is the first day toward Shabbat,’ and so forth.
“This is our tradition as Jews. According to the teaching of the Midrash (Michilta Yitro 20) and amplified by the great sage, the Ramban, we do not have names of the week like other cultures do. Rather, we call the day by its count towards Shabbat; echad b’Shabbat, sheni b’Shabbat…, ‘the first toward Shabbat, the second toward Shabbat…’ We do this becauser this is a fulfillment of the mitzvah, lezochro, ‘to remember the Shabbat.
“Rabbi Soloveitchik understood this as an act of preparing for and anticipating holiness, the greater the preparation, the greater the sanctity, the kedusha.” (From: The Night That Unites: Passover Haggadah with teachings, stories, and questions from Rabbi Kook, Rabbi Soloveitchik, and Rabbi Carlebach, pages 51-2)
Everybody knows that the Boy Scout’s motto is “Be Prepared.” If there is one holiday that needs a lot of preparation, that holiday would have to be Passover. All that shopping, cleaning and cooking in preparation for the seder nights is exhausting. Unfortunately there is one area that is constantly underprepared. Too few people review the Haggadah before Passover to renew the seders with new insights, commentaries, and songs. Too many seders revolve around the same old Haggadahs with archaic English and too many people read the text for the very first time sitting around the seder table.
There is still time to prepare your seder before the onset of Passover. Pick up a new Haggadah like The Night That Unites and uses its teachings, stories, and question to make your seder even holier! If people would prepare the seder table talk like people prepare those delicious seder dinners, nobody would ever ask the fifth question, “When do we eat?”