Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Passover
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Pesach

YomTov, vol. XIII, # 1

The Exit Strategy

By Rabbi Yehudah Prero


This YomTov is dedicated to the memory of Asher ben Aharon Yosef Prero by the Prero, Klein, Cohen, Spero and Kliger families. May his memory be a blessing.

Immediately after the four famous questions themed on how the Seder night differs from all other nights, known as the “Mah Nishtana”, are posed, we find the answer – Avadim HaYinu,” “we were slaves in Egypt.” In that answer, we read that had G-d not taken our forefathers out Egypt, our children, our great grandchildren and we would still be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt. Furthermore, even if we were all sages, wise, elders, learned in the entire Torah, there is still a positive commandment upon us to discuss the departure from Egypt – and those who increase their telling over of this momentous event are praiseworthy.

The Hagada follows up this answer with a story. Five great sages were sitting together in the city of B’nai Brak, and they were telling about the departure from Egypt the entire night. They did so until their students came to them and told them that the time had come to recite the morning “S’hma” prayer.

Rav Avrohom Yitzchok Kook notes that the focus of the dictate to discuss set forth in Avadim HaYinu, and the topic of conversation of the 5 great sages, was the “departure” from Egypt. It is not the “redemption” from Egypt, or the “birth of our nation,” nor the “liberation from bondage” that we are to discuss, and discus at length: it is the departure.

G-d could very well have left the nation of Israel in Egypt. The nation of Israel, perhaps through political machinations, perhaps through other turns of event, could have risen to prominence, ending their servitude and domination by the Egyptians. If that had happened, those who witnessed the hand of G-d, whether through plagues or any other manifestation that would have been evident, would have been able to overcome the impurity of Egypt. The negative influence of the Egyptians on the people could be negated by the positive spiritual experiences to which they were subject and witness. However, come the next generation, problems would emerge. People who had not witnessed the hand of G-d, people who had only heard stories about such events, would make up the population. These people would not be armed with the spiritual ammunition needed to combat the sinful, negative and immoral influence of the Egyptian populace. No matter how wise, how knowledgeable, how intellectually astute this generation would be, they still would have their spiritual essences overcome by Egyptian culture.

The aspect of the exodus experience that we are told to discuss on the Seder night is not the miraculous nature of the exodus. It is not the redemption or ensuing freedom that we are told to discuss in length. It is the “departure,” the physical exiting of the populace of the nation of Israel from the spiritual dungeon of Egypt that must be the subject of our conversation the Seder night. And lest the wise and knowledgeable individuals think that they would not have met the fate of their brethren had they stayed in the land of Egypt, the Hagada states in no uncertain terms that _everyone_ has to discuss the departure. Everyone would have suffered spiritual decimation. Everyone would have been affected. Therefore, everyone has to discuss, in an amount that indicates true appreciation, the departure from Egypt, “Yetzias Mitzrayim.” The five sages in B’nai Brak knew this. It is from their actions that we are to learn. It is their actions that set the template for our own conduct at the Seder. It is their actions that provide us with a lesson about what we must appreciate daily when we recall the exodus.


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Yehudah Prero and Torah.org.

The author has Rabbinic ordination from Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem, NY.


 

ARTICLES ON BESHALACH AND TU BESHVAT:

View Complete List

The New Year for Trees
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Miraculous Nature
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Wise Water
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Building a Spiritual Pipeline
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Yield Right of Way
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Better to Be the Pursued Than the Pursuer
Shlomo Katz - 5760

> We Pay for Everything
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

No Need to Sell Yourself
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Words of Remembrance
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

ArtScroll

Reaching Out
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Nothing's More Natural Than Nature
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Trying Experience
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Mr. Forgetful
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

As the Season Turns
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Well-Bread Jews
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Tribes & Elders Given The Royal Treatment At Elim
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information