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On Shabbos the first night of Pesach, we don't say Magen Avot (Orach Chayim 487:1). The Mishna Berura says that this is because normally Magen Avot is to prevent people who were late to shul being left alone, but Pesach is ליל שמורים so we are guarded from dangers.

How does this help? Even on the original ליל שמורים, the protection did not extend to outside: ואתם לא תצאו איש מפתח ביתו עד בקר (Shemot 12:22). Rashi there says that this command was because it was dangerous outside.

Why does the present day protection on Pesach night apply even outside?

  • Interesting question. But, there are numerous difference between Pesach Mitzrayim and Pesach Ledorot. Perhaps, what you mentioned is one difference? I also have to research this idea of "lateness" as a concern for adding something to the prayers, esp. Friday night. What made that day different from the rest of the week? – DanF Feb 2 '17 at 16:18
  • Because there's no fear of makat bechorot nowadays? therefore, the only remaining danger would be from non-Jews, for which we are explicitly told that the Mitzrim feared the Jews, so the first night (and following day) in particular we are shielded from "natural" events by divine favor and from human interference by historical events... – Isaac Kotlicky Feb 2 '17 at 19:01
  • @IsaacKotlicky "explicitly told that the Mitzrim feared the Jews" - I don't recall any explicit mention of "fear". Maybe that's an interpretation of a verse? Where is this concept mentioned? – DanF Feb 2 '17 at 20:47
  • @IsaacKotlicky The makka came directly from Hashem (אני ולא מלאך etc.) It's clear from the words of Rashi that the fear outside was from מחבלים, whatever that means it's not Hashem Himself. – Heshy Feb 2 '17 at 21:05
  • @Heshy 12:לו וַיהוָה נָתַן אֶת-חֵן הָעָם, בְּעֵינֵי מִצְרַיִם--וַיַּשְׁאִלוּם; וַיְנַצְּלוּ, אֶת-מִצְרָיִם. {פ} 36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And they despoiled the Egyptians. {P} sorry, i may have been thinking about the promise made when they were to enter Israel. Regardless, there was no threat to them from the egyptians because of the favor. so we have guarding of bnei yisroel from man. – Isaac Kotlicky Feb 3 '17 at 15:48
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Why does the present day protection on Pesach night apply even outside?

It doesn't. The danger of remaining alone is, on an ordinary Friday Night, only inside the shul. As can be seen explicitly in Sefer Hamanhig (Hilchos Pesach Siman 52) (the source of this paragraph in Shulchan Aruch):

If the first festival of Passover falls on Shabbos, [the blessing] mey'ein sheva is not said in the synagogue, because it was only instituted because their synagogues were in the fields and mazikim were common, for lilith roams on the nights of Shabbos, as is stated in [Tractate Pesachim, Chapter] Arvei Pesachim, and it is common that the Angel of Death deposits his tools in the synagogue, and if an individual who had delayed in coming were to remain there alone, he would be injured, and so they instituted to lengthen [the prayer] with [the blessing] mey'ein sheva until he finished praying. However, regarding the night of Passover it is stated "A night of guarding it is for Hashem ... it is this night...", "A night which is guarded from mazikim".

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