A few days prior to Egypt being struck with the mighty tenth plague, Hashem gave the Jewish people instructions through Moshe to prepare for the imminent redemption.

They were to prepare a lamb that would be slaughtered on the 14th day of Nissan. At night they were to partake of a festive meal as a prelude to their redemption.

Hashem specified what was to be eaten with the lamb meat and how it should be prepared. He also forbid certain methods of preparation: “Do not eat it underdone or cooked in water; but only roasted by fire, its head with its legs, and with its innards” (12:9).

I have always wondered why G‑d insists that the meat should be roasted. Human palates are different one from another. What is delicious to one is obnoxious to the other. What one likes the other hates. Since with this meal the Jews celebrated their freedom, why not allow the participants freedom to eat the meat according to their liking?

In fact, the Torah says regarding the parts of the animals the Kohen received from the offerings “I have given them to you lemashchah— for greatness” (Bamidbar 18:8) and the Gemara (Zevachim 90b) says that they may be eaten roasted, stewed, or boiled, in the manner which kings prefer. And since a king eats in the tasty manner he prefers, the Kohen too may eat the offering roasted, overcooked or cooked. If so, why in regard to the Pesach offering did Hashem adamantly insist that it be eaten only roasted?

Searching for an answer, I came across a very interesting insight in the Daat Zekeinim Miba’alei Hatosafot.

Partially raw and fully cooked meat hardly have an aroma. Roasted meat, however, can be smelled at a distance.

The Jews slaved in Egypt for many years and were petrified of their Egyptian masters. Hashem’s command to offer sheep, the animal worshipped by the Egyptians, as a Pesach-offering, frightened them. In order not to arouse the wrath of the Egyptians, they were going to eat it partially raw or cooked, hoping that the Egyptians would not notice.

Consequently, Hashem told Moshe to tell the people, “Enough is enough! Stop walking with your heads bowed down. Lift them up and be proud of the fact that you are Jews and free people. Roast the sacrifice on fire, let the aroma be smelled from one end of Egypt to the other, and let the entire country know that you are proudly worshipping your G‑d.”

Hashem’s message to the Jewish people was that freedom of religion means that you can practice your religious beliefs freely and that no one can stop you. However, if a person is embarrassed to openly declare his religious convictions or publicly practice them, he is not really free and emancipated. He is, unfortunately, in a self-imposed exile and suffering from self-made religious oppression.

Even in our free country of America, there are, unfortunately, people who are still ashamed and who attempt to conceal their Jewish identity. It may be on the campus, in business, or while in the company of others, and some are even ashamed of their Torah observance in the presence of their own family. Sadly, such people are still living with the notions and intimidations of the Jew of old who was afraid of his non-Jewish neighbor.

Fortunately things have changed to a noticeable degree. Today we meet people in every field of business and profession who proudly make it known that they are religious Torah-observant Jews, not just in theory, but in practice. Such people are experiencing the freedom of religion our country offers in the fullest measure.

May the home that you, my dear Chatan and Kallah, are going to build and the lifestyle that you will lead be one in which the aroma of Torah and Yiddishkeit will be conspicuous and sensed by all who know you. Being proud of your commitment to Torah will make Hashem to proud of you and He will reciprocate by giving you all the best.

"וקשין לזווגן כקריעת ים סוף"
“And it is as difficult to match them up as the splitting of the Reed Sea.” (Sotah 2a)

QUESTION: What common difficulty does Hashem have in making a marriage and the splitting of the sea?

ANSWER: The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni, Shemot 234) says that Hashem had a difficulty with splitting the sea because of the slander of the vicious angel Samaeil. He argued that the sea should not split for the Jews since they, too, worshipped idols in Egypt, and thus they were no better than the Egyptians. Nevertheless, Hashem thwarted the destructive intent of the angel. He did not accept his slander and split the sea.

The same also happens many times with shidduchim. Inconsiderate people may viciously almost slander one of the parties causing the shidduch to break up. Hashem has to find a way that the badmouthing should not be given much attention by the parties involved, so that the shidduch will reach a happy culmination.

(פרדס יוסף בראשית ב:כ"ג)