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Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Recreating the Sensation of Liberation

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner
Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

In the Hagaddah we read the following phrase : “In every generation a person must see himself as if he had personally left Egypt”, as the verse states “You shall tell your son, it is because of this that G-d did for ME, WHEN I LEFT EGYPT”

Since we are obligated to feel as we personally leave Egypt, therefore at the Seder, we don’t just recall the story of the Exodus but we also recreate the sensation of liberation. We eat various foods which remind us of the harsh slavery and other foods which remind us about the liberation. We recline and put beautiful dishes on the Seder table to give us the feeling of liberation.

What is left to be understood is, how can we truly feel on this evening that we have personally left Egypt, when the reality is that we haven’t?  Yes, we continue to reap the benefits of the Exodus but that is not the same as personally leaving Egypt.

The explanation the commentaries tell us, is that the redemption from Egypt was not just a one time occurrence but it was also a fire that G-d gave the Jewish people- the soul power to rise above and be victorious in all subsequent exiles. The journey of the Jewish people from the Exodus of Egypt until the final redemption would be long, full of many different challenges. However, at the time of the Exodus G-d gave us and continues to give us the redemptive powers to heal ourselves and the world around us.

Now we can understand how on this evening we can feel that we are personally leaving Egypt. Since, if G-d is constantly giving us the power to leave our personal Egypt then certainly on this auspicious day, when He redeems us for the first time, we receive a new dose of energy to leave our personal “Egypt”.

 

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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