Chad Gadya


I would like to share a thought I saw from Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein.

In Chad Gadya, we read how a man purchased a goat for two zuzim. Along came a cat and ate the goat; then a dog ate the cat; along came a stick and hit the dog; fire then burnt up the stick; water then extinguished the fire; the cow then drank the water; the slaughterer then slaughtered the cow; the angel of death then killed the slaughterer; and then Hashem smote the angel of death.

Everything naturally makes sense in the sequence of events. Cats eat goats, dogs eat cats, water extinguishes fire, cows drink water and so on. But how did the stick hit the dog? Sticks don’t walk. It should have said that a person came with a stick and hit the dog. But it doesn’t say that.

Clearly, Hashem must be holding the stick. And if that is so, the same is true of all the other ‘natural’ events. Even the cat eating the goat and the water extinguishing the fire is the hand of Hashem. Nothing is natural and happens by itself.

At the end of the Haggadah when we read about the events of Chad Gadya, we are meant to think of all the incidents in our own personal lives. And then we are to realize that even the stick that hits and the hardships that confront us are from Hashem. He is behind our lives every step of the way.

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