Section:  Avodah   Category: Ahavas Yisroel
"Ha Lachma Anya": Rav Moshe Shternbuch - Now You Invite Guests, After Kiddush?

In the opening of Magid we start with Ha Lachma Anya where we mention the bread of affliction that we eat and then we go on to invite guests to our Seder.  Isn't this a strange time to invite our guests?  The streets are empty,invitation who is still waiting for an invitation?  Besides, we've already made kiddush.  Shouldn't we invite our guest before kiddush... and karpas... and yachatz?

Rav Moshe Shternbuch answers that the guest are already sitting at our table but they feel really badly about what is going on.  They were invited for the Seder by a man who is also poor.  He sits Seder night with "poor man's bread" on his table.  Chazal instituted Ha Lachma Anya to allay the fears of our poor guest.  We tell him that we are not poor.  The poor bread is simply a remembrance to the days when we were in Mitzrayim.

We then tell him that we have plenty of food to go around and enough to feed him as well, without giving up our own rations.  Therefore, "Kol Dichfin Yeisei V'Yeichol" all the hungry guests are welcome to eat in comfort. 

To top it all off we tell him that he should not feel like a pauper at the rich homeowner's table.  "Hashata Avdei", we are all really slaves in this galus.  "L'Shana Haba B'Arya D'Yisroel", next year we should all rejoice together in Eretz Yisroel.

Amazing, says Rav Shternbuch, is the sensitivity of Chazal to make our guest feel welcome and at home!