The passuk says (Vayikra 10,9)
יין ושכר אל תשת אתה ובניך אתך בבואכם אל אהל מועד ולא תמותו חוקת עולם לדורותיכם.
Wine with the strength of intoxication is prohibited to drink and this applies to you and your children with you as an eternal decree.
The next two pessukim say
להבדיל בין הקודש והחול ובין הטמא והטהור. ולהורות את בני ישראל
In order to distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the contaminated and the pure, and to teach Yisrael all the decrees that Hashem had spoken to them through Moshe.
Since this prohibition was issued immediately after the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, Rav Yismael infers that their punishment must have been associated with this conduct of drinking wine when they entered the Ohel Moed.
Rav Naftali from Ropshitz placed a line in his Chumash separating the words in the first passuk, אל תשת and אתה ובנך אתך. The Chachmei Hamesorahinterpreted the Rebbe’s intention as follows. This line was to point out that on certain occasions which are hinted in these pessukim this prohibition is lifted. These occasions are listed in this passuk and the following passuk.
- Simcha of a marriage which corresponds to אתה ובנך אתך
- Chanukas Habayis which is alluded to in the words בבואכם אל אהל מועד
- Seudas Hodoah which corresponds to ולא תמותו one was saved from death
- Bris Milah which is called חוקת עולם as the passuk says והיתה בריתי בבשרכם לברית עולם
- Kiddush and Havdalah להבדיל בין הקודש והחול
- Purim להבדיל בין הטמא והטהור which is referring to Mordechai and Haman
- Siyum which is hinted in the end words of ולהורות את בני ישראל to teach Torah to Yisrael.
My question is why isn’t the Four Cups of the Seder hinted to in the above pessukim? You guessed it correctly and that the answer is hinted in אתה ובנך אתך. The entire mitzvah of the Seder is to give over the mesorah of YetziasMitzrayim to one’s children והגדת לבנך, כי ישאלך בנך. In order to validate this answer even more so, we can prove it with a gematriah. The numerical value of ד’ כוסות is 496 which is the same as אתה ובניך (counting the two words).
A deeper understanding in this remez is that אתה ובניך is also gematriah מלכות. The kingdom of Hashem must be spread through the mesorah transmitted from father to son. However, for this to work properly, the father has to display his own יראת ה’ and acceptance of Hashem’s Kingdom upon himself and not just teach his son with “Do as I say not as I do”. This is part and parcel of כבד את אביך ואת אמך that one must honor his “fatherhood” and “motherhood” and be responsible to set themselves as emulative models for their children.
Let us look at the passuk once more and take the acronym of all seven occasions in which we are permitted to drink wine and even encouraged to do so. The eight occasions are
נישואין, בית, הודאה, ברית מילה, קידוש, פורים, סיום, כוסות
If you add the acronyms of these eight occasions where wine is encouraged to be drunk you will find the gematriah of משיח counting the word.
One important lesson we must learn from this is that even on these occasions when drinking is permissible, it should be done with the accompaniment of אתה ובנך אתך an adult supervision preferably by a parent for the obvious reasons. When one drinks responsibly it can bring out the deeper desires of simcha, one’s inner emes, yearning, and essential deveikus to Hashem. If one drinks uncontrollably to the point of the expression “he’s plastered”, then he should realize afterwards that the lashon ofפלסתר means unauthentic, sheker and lie (Berachos 31). Drinking responsibly can stir the heart to come closer to Hashem and help bring the משיח. Or to the contrary, it could be an act of שטן which is the same gematriah. In every one of these eight occasions one must ensure that his kavanos are for the geulah as hinted in the acronym letters of the passuk (Tehillim 147,2) נדחי ישראל יכנס – יין and not chas veshalom bring about the extension of the galus by a Chilul Hashem. אתה ובניך אתך!
– Rav Brazil