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Chapters 1-3

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Text of the Passover Haggadah

 
 Foreword Chapters 4-6


Chapters 1-3

"As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders." [1] It is necessary to understand:

The Future Redemption will be far loftier than the redemption from Egypt.

{For this reason, ben Zoma maintains [2] that in the Era of Mashiach we will not recall the exodus from Egypt. Even according to the view of the Sages [2] who state that we will recall the exodus in the Era of Mashiach, that is because the exodus possesses a [certain] advantage over the Future Redemption. Nevertheless, [as a whole], the exodus from Egypt will be secondary to the Future Redemption.}

Why then does the verse say: "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders," describing the loftiness of the Future Redemption by saying that it will be characterized by wonders similar to those of the exodus?

It is also necessary to understand [why] the verse uses the term: "I will show [the people] wonders."

This implies that the fundamental advantage of the Future Redemption is not in the very fact that there will be wonders, but in G-d's revelation of those wonders.

Also, requiring explanation is the fact that the verb "I will show," uses the indefinite third person, [3] while the word "your exodus," uses the second person. Seemingly, the verse should have read "I will show you."

The Zohar explains [4] that the verse states: "I will show him," because it refers to Moshe our teacher.

Explanation is, however, required to resolve that interpretation with the simple meaning of the verse which implies that the object of "I will show" is the Jewish people.

[These questions can be resolved] on the basis [of the following] explanation:

In general, there are two types of miracles:

  1. miracles which transcend the natural order, like the miracles of the exodus in which water was turned to blood and the miracle of the splitting of the Sea in which the sea was transformed into dry land; and
  2. miracles that are enclothed in the natural order.

The latter category itself subdivides into two:

  1. miracles with regard to which it is obvious that the natural order is merely a garment for the miracle that transpires.

    For example, the miracles of Chanukah and Purim were enclothed within the natural order, and yet their miraculous dimension was overtly revealed (to the extent that "it was seen in the farthest corners of the earth"); [5] and

  2. miracles in which the garments of nature conceal the miraculous dimension. [6]

It is well known, [7] that the source for the miracles that are enclothed within the natural order is higher than the source for the miracles which transcend the natural order. And the source for the miracles that are enclothed in nature to the extent that [the wondrous nature of these miracles remains concealed,] and it is not revealed that the natural order is merely a garment, comes from an even higher source. [8]

[To these miracles,] our Sages applied [9] the verse: [10] "Who alone performs great wonders," and explain that this refers to miracles which are not recognized even by the person for whom the miracle is wrought. The source for such miracles comes the level [at which G-d is] alone [as it were]. [11]

This is the new dimension of the Future Redemption, that "I will show [the people] wonders."

For the wonders of the Future Redemption will be drawn down from the level in which G-d is alone, [as it were]. As our Sages commented: [12] "In the past {i.e., at the time of the exodus from Egypt,} I [G-d] and My court would proceed before you. But in the Future, I will proceed before you alone."

[Implied is that] the miracles that occurred at the time of the exodus were drawn down from G-d through the intermediary of His court, while the miracles of the Future Redemption will come from G-d alone {without the intermediary of His court}. [13]

[On this basis, we can appreciate] the uniqueness of "show[ing the people] wonders." For the miracles which are drawn down from the level at which G-d is alone [as it were] are {generally} expressed in a manner in which He alone is aware that a miracle occurred.

[In the Era of the Redemption, by contrast,] "I will show wonders," these miracles will be overtly revealed.

II

It is well known [14] that [in the interpretation of the verse,] "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt," emphasis is placed on the use of the plural term "days." For the exodus from Egypt took place in one day. {As such, [the commandment to] recall the exodus states: [15] "Remember this day on which you left Egypt," and it is written: [16] "So that you will recall the day on which you left Egypt."} Why then is the plural term, "days," used?

[On a simple level,] it is possible to resolve the question by explaining that the "exodus from Egypt" includes the splitting of the Sea [which took place six days afterwards]. [17]

{For the mitzvah of recalling the exodus each day includes the recollection of the splitting of the sea. [18] Similarly, the mitzvah of relating the story of the exodus on Pesach night - of which it is said: [19] "Whoever tells about it at length is worthy of being praised" - also encompasses telling of the splitting of the sea.} [20]

For this reason, the verse uses the plural form in the verse: "As in the days of your exodus from the land of Egypt." {The commandment to remember the exodus, by contrast, uses the singular form, "the day," for the fundamental aspect of the mitzvah is remembering the exodus, and the remembrance of the splitting of the sea is [secondary,] and is not of integral necessity. [21]

Thus the intent of the verse, "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders," is that in the Future Redemption there will be miracles and wonders which parallel those of the exodus and the splitting of the Sea, as it is written: [22] "And G-d will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian Sea.... And there will be a path for the remnant of His people... as there was for Israel on the day they ascended from the land of Egypt."

Thus it is necessary to understand the connection between the two concepts explained with regard to the verse: "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders": a) that even those wonders which are drawn down from the level at which G-d is alone [as it were] will be revealed, (i.e., their miraculous dimension will be evident), and that among the wonders of the Future Redemption will also be a parallel to the splitting of the Sea.

III

The above concepts can be explained by prefacing [the principle mentioned above,] that the source of the miracles enclothed within the natural order is higher than the source for the miracles which transcend the natural order.

[The rationale for this principle is that] with regard to the miracles which transcend the natural order, the Or Ein Sof, G-d's Infinite Light, which transcends the worlds (the source for miracles) is revealed in a manner which nullifies the natural order, upsetting the pattern of nature. As such, these revelation are not drawn down within the world.

With regard to the miracles which are enclothed in nature, by contrast, the revelation of the Or Ein Sof which transcends the worlds permeates the worlds themselves. [23]

Now limitation and infinity are two opposites.

Thus for the revelation of Or Ein Sof, G-d's Infinite Light, to permeate the world itself, it is necessary that the infinite [revelation] be drawn down from G-d's essence which is present everywhere, even within the limitations (and the natural order) of [our material] world.

There is a second explanation with regard to the advantage of the miracles which are enclothed in the natural order over the miracles which transcend the natural order.

The purpose of miracles is to reveal how G-d dominates and controls nature. [24] This purpose is more thoroughly revealed through the miracles which are enclothed within the natural order.

The miracles which transcend the natural order reveal His sovereignty by showing that He has the potential to nullify and upset the rules of nature. The miracles which are enclothed within the natural order, by contrast, demonstrate that the Or Ein Sof dominates and controls nature itself. [25] Nature itself acts according to His will. [26]

Footnotes:

  1. (Back to text) Michah 7:15.

  2. (Back to text) Berachos 12b.

  3. (Back to text) [The bracketed phrase, "the people," is a translator's addition.]

  4. (Back to text) Zohar, Vol. II, p. 54a; see also Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 13, p. 28b.

  5. (Back to text) Cf. Yeshayahu 52:10; Tehillim 98:3.

  6. (Back to text) With regard to the above, see Or HaTorah (Yahel Or) Tehillim 40:6, sec. 10 (pgs. 154-155); see also the maamar entitled Zeh HaYom, Yud Beis Tammuz, 5738, sec. 6 (Sefer HaMaamarim Meluket, Vol. III, p. 212ff), et al.

  7. (Back to text) Torah Or, Megillas Esther, 93d, 100a.

  8. (Back to text) See Or HaTorah, loc. cit., sec. 9, p. 154.

  9. (Back to text) Niddah 31a.

  10. (Back to text) Tehillim 136:4.

  11. (Back to text) Or HaTorah, loc. cit.

  12. (Back to text) Shmos Rabbah 19:6.

  13. (Back to text) See Or HaTorah, loc. cit., sec. 8, p. 154.

  14. (Back to text) See the maamar entitled Kimai Tzeisecho, 5708 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5708, p. 159); Zohar, Vol. III, p. 176a. See also the inclusions to the Zohar, Vol. I, sec. 25 (p. 261b), which are quoted in Or HaTorah Nach on this verse, sec. 7 (p. 487).

  15. (Back to text) Shmos 13:3.

  16. (Back to text) Devarim 16:3.

  17. (Back to text) For until then, the people were still afraid of the Egyptians {for Pharaoh sent agents among them, (Mechilta, Rashi, Shmos 14:5)}. It was [only] on the Seventh Day of Pesach "when Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the edge of the sea" (Shmos 14:30, see Mechilta, Rashi) that the Jew's departure from Egypt was complete. Not only did they depart from the physical land of Egypt, but also the fear of the Egyptians.

  18. (Back to text) See the Tosefta (Berachos 2:1, quoted in Torah Or, Shmos 42b); see also Shulchan Aruch HaRav 66:12 which states: "It is necessary to mention [both] the exodus from Egypt and the splitting of the sea in [the blessing Emes ViYatziv]." See also the Chasdei David to the Tosefta, loc. cit., which states that "the splitting of the sea completed the redemption."

  19. (Back to text) Haggadah Shel Pesach, the passage beginning Avadim Hayinu.

  20. (Back to text) As reflected in the fact that the Haggadah (whose purpose is to tell the story of the exodus) dwells extensively on the amount of plagues visited on the Egyptians at the Red Sea.

  21. (Back to text) See Shulchan Aruch HaRav, loc. cit. 67:1 which states that if one is in doubt whether one recited the passage concerning tzitzis, one must read it again. The rationale is that the remembrance of the exodus is a positive commandment of the Torah. And whenever there is a doubt concerning the fulfillment of an obligation mandated by Scriptural Law, we rule stringently. If, however, one is in doubt whether one recited the passage Emes ViYatziv, [one is not required to repeat it,] because the question is one of Rabbinic law. This indicates that (even if by recalling the splitting of the sea, one fulfills a mitzvah of Scriptural Law,) the recollection of the splitting of the Red Sea is not of integral necessity.

  22. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 11:15-16, included in the Haftorah recited on Acharon Shel Pesach.

  23. (Back to text) Even when the garments of the natural order are such that the person to whom the miracle occurs does not recognize the miracle, [the fundamental dimension of] a miracle is expressed: for (even in such a manner), [G-dly influence] above the natural order has been introduced into the world.*

    The concealment applies only with regard to man's perception, but with regard to the world itself, the miracle [has had an effect]. The deviation from the world's natural pattern [indicates] how a revelation of the infinite Or Ein Sof has been drawn down within the world.

    * See Or HaTorah, Tehillim, loc. cit., (p. 155) which states that nature is the order with which the name E-l-o-h-i-m has structured the world.

    Miracles, even the miracles which are enclothed in nature, and even those which the person to whom the miracle occurs does not recognize, are drawn down from the name Havayah.

  24. (Back to text) See Torah Or, Bereishis 42a.

  25. (Back to text) See Shaar HaEmunah by the Mitteler Rebbe, ch. 16, p. 30a, which states that "A miracle which is enclothed in nature reflects how G-d dominates nature itself, changing it [even] to its very opposite."

  26. (Back to text) Similar concepts apply with regard to the advantage of the miracles which the person to whom they occur does not recognize explained above (sec. I). These miracles are drawn down from a higher source than the miracles which are enclothed in nature, but which can be recognized as stated previously.

    [To explain:] When it is obvious that the garments of nature are merely garments, for the deviation from the ordinary natural pattern (see the previous note) is somewhat revealed, it resembles slightly the disruption of the natural order. With regard to the miracles that do not make it apparent that nature is merely a garment (although these mitzvos also involve a change in the natural order as mentioned in note 23), the change they effect is utterly concealed. For with regard to these miracles, nature retains all of its power. [Why even in such a situation is] nature made to deviate (albeit in a concealed way) [from its ordinary pattern]? Because Or Ein Sof dominates and controls nature, even when nature is at its full strength.

 Foreword Chapters 4-6



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