Ensuring our Freedom

April 9, 2017 at 8:59 AM , ,

“…If the holy one, blessed be he, had not taken our fathers out of Egypt, then we, our children, and our children’s children would have remained enslaved to pharaoh in Egypt…” – The Haggadah

וְאִלּוּ לֹא הוֹצִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת אֲבוֹתֵינוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם, הֲרֵי אָנוּ וּבָנֵינוּ וּבְנֵי בָנֵינוּ מְשֻׁעְבָּדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם – הגדה של פסח

We acknowledge in the Haggadah that if not for our miraculous redemption some 3,000 years ago, we would still be slaves to Pharaoh today.As such, we can truly regard ourselves as though we were the ones redeemed from Egypt, which is the main theme of the Seder.

The Haggadah adds that our children, as well as their children, would still be enslaved, had G-d not redeemed our ancestors. While it is true that the redemption from Egypt granted our progeny the same freedom it granted us, why must we acknowledge this at the Seder?

Evidently, in order to fully experience our own freedom, we must be cognizant of our descendants’ freedom as well.


Ensuring our Freedom

On Pesach we celebrate not only our physical release from bondage, but also our spiritual liberation—the ability to cleave to the infinite G-d, and to transcend the shackles of our material existence. In the words of the Mishna (Avos 6:2), “There is no free person, except for he who occupies himself with the study of Torah.”

For this reason, the only way we can truly celebrate our redemption is when we are certain of our children’s and grandchildren’s freedom. The only free person is one who has successfully imparted his appreciation for Torah study and excitement for its observance to his children, in a way that ensures they will pass it along with the same passion to their children. Only then can we be certain the spiritual liberation achieved through Torah will endure forever. As the Talnud teaches, “He who is himself a talmid chacham (Torah scholar), and his son a talmid chacham, and his son’s son, too, is a talmid chacham, the Torah will nevermore cease from his seed” (Bava Metzia 85a).

—Sichos Kodesh 5736, vol. 2, p. 99


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