Jewish Content   Holidays   Shabbat   Chabad-houses   Chassidism   Subscribe   Calendar   Links B"H

High-Holidays   |   Chanukah   |   Purim   |   Passover   |   Shavuot

Passover   |   Related Dates   |   Passover Schedule   |   Passover-Guide Map


How To Celebrate

The History of Passover

Thoughts & Essays


Short Essays

   Food For The Soul

Experiencing Passover Today

The Significance of Passover Cleaning

Moses Returns

The Fifth Son

Passover Scents

Slavery Today

Increasing Performance: Avoiding Evil

Demanding Gracefully

Coming Together

Basically Believers

Humility Vs. Pride

The Order of Redemption

Havayah: The Attribute Of Truth

Vaulting, Bounding and Leaping

The First and Final Redemption

Names of Passover

Passover Offerings

Digesting Self-Sacrifice

Children and Pesach

Long(er) Essays

Chasidic Discourses

Timeless Patterns in Time

Passover & Moshiach

Seder/Hagaddah Explanations

Letters From The Rebbe

Passover Anecdotes

Passover Stories

Children's Corner

Q & A

Last Days of Passover

Text of the Passover Haggadah

 Humility Vs. Pride Havayah: The Attribute Of Truth

The Order of Redemption

At the beginning of the Torah portion of Vayeira, four expressions are used regarding the redemption of the Jews from Egypt:

"I will release you... I will save you... I will liberate you... I will take you to Myself."

Our Sages note that the four cups of wine we drink during the Pesach Seder correspond to these four expressions.

The Alter Rebbe writes in his Shulchan Aruch that "the Sages established the four cups of wine in consonance with the four expressions: 'I will release you... I will liberate you... I will take you... I will save you.' "

Why does the Alter Rebbe change the order?

There are four general levels of repentance, alluded to in the passage: "Turn away from evil; do good; seek peace; pursue it."

The first level, that of "turning away from evil," requires that an individual not transgress in thought, speech or action. If he has transgressed, he is to regret his past misdeeds and uproot his evil desires. For a person does not want to abandon his unity with G-d, and desires G-d's imminent revelation.

The second level of repentance involves doing teshuvah for shortcomings in the performance of mitzvos and good deeds. In order to draw down the level of holiness that is lacking due to a lassitude in the performance of positive commands, one's repentance must be of an extremely high order, so that one can unite with that level of G-dliness which transcends the world.

The third level, that of "seeking peace," is an even loftier form of repentance, wherein an individual resolves to excel in Torah study, which "brings about peace both above and below." This level of repentance enables an individual to reach out to G-d Himself -- far beyond the level of either imminent or transcendent G-dliness.

The highest level of repentance, the level of Torah, is itself composed of two levels -- seeking peace and pursuing it -- corresponding to the revealed and hidden levels of Torah.

The Seder's four cups of wine also correspond to these four levels of repentance. Accordingly, the four expressions of redemption conform to these four levels.

Thus, "I will release you from the bondage [the spiritual impurity] of Egypt," corresponds to the action of "turning away from evil."

"I will save you -- v'hitzalti" (related to the Hebrew word tzeil or "shadow"), refers to the encompassing level of G-dliness that is drawn down through the performance of mitzvos.

"I will liberate you" corresponds to the level of Torah, for as our Sages state: "Only the person who studies Torah is truly free." More specifically, this refers to the revealed portion of Torah, as understood from the simple reading of the text.

Finally, "I will take you unto Me as a nation" (true unity with G-d) refers to the esoteric dimension of Torah, the highest level of repentance.

As these four degrees of repentance progress from the lowest to the highest, the Torah's expressions with regard to the Exodus also move from the smallest to the greatest.

Now, there is a well-known debate about which is more important: Torah study or the performance of mitzvos. If study comes first, then "I will liberate you" and "I will take you" would come last in the order of progression from lowest to highest. But , if positive performance is more important than study, "I will release you" should be mentioned last.

The reason for the difference in the order of expressions found in the Torah and in the Shulchan Aruch is now clear: The order in the Torah (the Torah desiring to emphasize Torah study) concludes with "I will take you," emphasizing the primacy of Torah study. The order in the Shulchan Aruch (which deals with laws of performance) concludes with "I will save you," emphasizing the primacy of performance.

Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XI, pp. 14-22
 Humility Vs. Pride Havayah: The Attribute Of Truth

  • Daily Lessons
  • Weekly Texts & Audio
  • Candle-Lighting times

    613 Commandments
  • 248 Positive
  • 365 Negative

  • BlackBerry
  • iPhone / iPod Touch
  • Java Phones
  • Palm Pilot
  • Palm Pre
  • Pocket PC
  • P800/P900
  • Moshiach
  • Resurrection
  • For children - part 1
  • For children - part 2

  • Jewish Women
  • Holiday guides
  • About Holidays
  • The Hebrew Alphabet
  • Hebrew/English Calendar
  • Glossary

  • by SIE
  • About
  • Chabad
  • The Baal Shem Tov
  • The Alter Rebbe
  • The Rebbe Maharash
  • The Previous Rebbe
  • The Rebbe
  • Mitzvah Campaign

    Children's Corner
  • Rabbi Riddle
  • Rebbetzin Riddle
  • Tzivos Hashem

  • © Copyright 1988-2009
    All Rights Reserved
    Jewish Content