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Introduction

How To Celebrate

The History of Passover

Thoughts & Essays

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Short Essays

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   Kimei Tzeischa (1)

Kimei Tzeischa (2)

   Foreword

Chapters 1-4

Chapters 5-7

V'nocho Olov

Timeless Patterns in Time

Passover & Moshiach

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Last Days of Passover

Text of the Passover Haggadah

 
 Foreword Chapters 5-7


Chapters 1-4

"As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders." [1] As is well known, the Zohar [2] {as explained in the maamarim of the Rebbeim} [3] focuses on the fact that the verse uses the plural form "days ."

[It raises the question:] The exodus from Egypt took only one day, [as mentioned in the verse] recalling the exodus: [4] "So that you will remember the day of your exodus from the land of Egypt" Why then does the above verse mention "days," using a plural form?

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

According to the simple meaning of the verse, the intent is that the Future Redemption, may it come speedily in our days, led by Mashiach, will be characterized by overt miracles as was the redemption from Egypt. The comparison is, however, problematic.

It is explained in several verses and statements of our Sages [5] that the Future Redemption will be [unique, being] a complete redemption that will not be followed by exile. This is not true with regard to the exodus from Egypt. Thus the Future Redemption will surpass the Redemption from Egypt. For this reason, according to one opinion, in the Era of the Redemption, we will no longer recall the redemption from Egypt. [6] And even the opinion which maintains that the redemption from Egypt will be recalled in that future era, [6] requires a special teaching [to make this known. One may infer that the natural tendency will be to ignore the exodus from Egypt because of the great revelations that will characterize the Future Redemption].

Why then does the verse state: "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders" implying that the advantage of the Future Redemption is that it will be characterized by overt miracles like the exodus?

Indeed, the verse indicates that the wonders that characterized the exodus from Egypt are the beginning and the source for the wonders of the Era of the Redemption. This implies that there is an advantage to the exodus from Egypt over the Future Redemption. [How is this possible - and why is the above comparison made - if the Future Redemption will surpass the exodus?]

II

The core of the explanation is that there are two interpretations to the verse: "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders":

  1. that the Future Redemption will resemble the redemption from Egypt, and will be characterized by overt miracles as that redemption was; and
  2. that the miracles that will characterize the Future Redemption will be considered wondrous even when compared to the miracles of the exodus from Egypt. [7] The intent is that although in general the miracles of the Future Redemption will resemble those which accompanied the redemption from Egypt (as in the simple meaning of the verse), there will be a [distinct] advantage to the miracles of the Future Redemption, to the extent that these miracles will be considered wondrous when compared to the miracles of the exodus.

To explain the advantage of the miracles that will characterize the Future Redemption over the miracles of the exodus from Egypt in terms of Kabbalistic terminology:

It is well known [8] that to take the Jews out of Egypt, [G-d] had to take them out of the 49 gates of impurity. That is why the days of the Counting of the Omer begin directly after the exodus from Egypt, for on each of the days of this Counting, we leave one of the gates of impurity.

The departure from these gates of impurity comes about by drawing down the Gates of Binah ("Understanding"). Therefore, the exodus from Egypt is mentioned 50 times in the Torah, corresponding to the 50 Gates of Binah. [9]

As is well known, there are several levels of the 50 Gates of Binah. [10]

[For example, there are] the 50 Gates of Binah as they are drawn down into Malchus, [as it is said:] [11] "From the side of the Yovel (i.e., Binah), they are drawn to Malchus."

On a higher level, [these Gates] exist as they are [all] included in the fiftieth Gate, the level of Kesser ([and more particularly,] within Kesser itself, the level of Atik).

On this basis, we can understand why the miracles that will characterize the Future Redemption will be wondrous when compared to the miracles of the exodus from Egypt. For in the exodus from Egypt, the 50 Gates of Binah which were drawn down refer to the level of Binah (as the Gates were drawn down through the level of Malchus).

In the Era of the Redemption, by contrast, the influence will come from the Gates of Binah as they are included within Kesser. [12]

Moreover, within Kesser itself, the influence will come from the level of Atik, and within Atik itself, from the inner dimensions of Atik. [12]

These [spiritual heights are alluded to in the prophesies which describe] Mashiach, saying: [13] "Behold, My servant shall prosper; he shall become exalted and uplifted, [reaching] very high peaks."

The word "me'od" [rendered as "very"] (which is used to described Mashiach) refers to the inner dimensions of Atik. [14] As the Pri Eitz Chayim states, [15] all the Divine influences received in the present era are from the external dimensions of Atik, while in the Era of the Redemption, the Divine revelation and influence will come from the inner dimensions of Atik.

Despite [these differences], the verse compares the miracles that characterize the Era of the Redemption to the miracles of the exodus as in the simple interpretation of the verse, that the "wonders" which "I will show [the people]" will resemble those of "the days of your exodus from Egypt."

For the exodus from Egypt was also characterized by very elevated revelations, as explained in the series of maamarim from the year 5672 [16] with regard to the phrase [17] "until the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself, in His glory, revealed Himself to them."

The phrase "Himself, in His glory" refers to very exalted levels. In the exodus from Egypt, however, these levels were revealed as they were enclothed in the level of Malchus. [18]

[This spiritual sequence] is alluded to in the verse: [19] "And G-d skipped over the entrance." "The entrance" refers to the level of Malchus. In the Era of the Redemption, by contrast, these [elevated] levels will be revealed without being enclothed [in any intermediaries], as it is written: [20] "Your Master will no longer conceal Himself."

III

Nevertheless, [the question raised at the outset remains unanswered:]

In the verse "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders," why are the miracles of the Future Redemption compared to the miracles of the exodus? In particular, this applies according to the opinion that the exodus from Egypt will also be recalled in the Era of the Redemption. [21]

[This opinion requires explanation.]

Since the miracles of the Future Redemption will surpass those of the exodus, why will the miracles of the exodus be recalled at that time? As is well known, the explanation (as given in the maamar entitled Kimei Tzeisecho delivered by my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [22] is that the redemption from Egypt opened the way for all subsequent redemptions (from all the exiles that would follow the Egyptian exile). This also includes the Future Redemption.

[It is true that] the Future Redemption will surpass the redemption [from Egypt. To cite a parallel:] It is well known that the exodus from Egypt was a preparation for the giving of the Torah, as it is written: [23] "When you take the people out of Egypt, you will serve G-d on this mountain." Now the essential dimension of [the people's] redemption and freedom came about at the time of the giving of the Torah. For until the giving of the Torah, there was a [Divine] decree preventing the spiritual from descending to the physical and the physical from ascending to the spiritual. [24] And thus until the giving of the Torah (even after the exodus from Egypt), the material realms had not truly [experienced] freedom and redemption. [25]

Nevertheless, at the time of the exodus from Egypt, the potential was granted for the redemption (the nullification of the decree) that occurred at the time of the giving of the Torah.

This also applies with regard to the Future Redemption. For the redemption from Egypt also generated the potential for the Future Redemption. For the giving of the Torah was a microcosm of the Future Redemption. [26] Nevertheless, at the time of the giving of the Torah, this revelation was only temporary, while in the Era of the Redemption, this revelation will be continuous and timeless.

[The reason for this difference is that] at the time of the giving of the Torah, the revelation came from above alone, while [in the Era of the Redemption,] the revelation will also resound within the material world itself. [27] For [in that era,] the created beings will have reached a state of ultimate refinement and perfection, and they will be vessels for G-dliness. [Mankind will] grasp the knowledge of their Creator to the [full] extent of [our] mortal potential, [28] creating a "perfect place," [29] for the manifestation of the Or Ein Sof, G-d's infinite light, that transcends our mortal potential.

IV

On this basis, [we can also resolve the question why the verses uses the plural form "the days of your exodus from Egypt."

For the entire period beginning with the first redemption [the exodus] from Egypt, until the ultimate Redemption, may it come speedily, in our days, is "the days of your exodus from Egypt," as explained in the maamar [of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe]. [30]

For the manner in which the redemption from Egypt opened the way for the Future Redemption is that each and every day (from the time of the exodus from Egypt until the Future Redemption), the exodus from Egypt is realized in a more elevated [and complete] fashion, until its most consummate peaks which will be reached with the coming of the Future Redemption.

To explain: Our Sages state [31] that "In each and every generation - and on each and every day - a person is obligated to see himself as if he left Egypt - that day." [32] For everyday, a person must relive the exodus from Egypt.

In particular, this applies while reciting the Shema, for as the Alter Rebbe explains in Tanya, [33] our Sages instituted the recollection of the exodus from Egypt [34] in the midst of the recitation of the Shema, because the two - ( the recitation of the Shema and the exodus from Egypt) - are [fundamentally] the same. [35]

This concept (that the recitation of the Shema should reflect one's Divine service in reliving the exodus) applies also with regard to the recitation of the Shema at night.

As the Rambam explains, [36] the reason we read the passage concerning tzitzis at night in the evening Kerias Shema, although the mitzvah of tzitzis does not apply at night is because it mentions the exodus from Egypt.

On this basis, we can understand the plural usage of the word "days" in the phrase "as in the days of your exodus from Egypt":

Although [the Jews] left Egypt in one day, through mentioning the exodus (that occurred originally in one day) every day, the exodus [becomes a continuous activity]. Every day becomes one of "the days of your exodus from Egypt." For every day, we transcend more subtle and elevated constraints. Indeed, we adopt a stance which breaks through [all constraints], transcending entirely all limitations.

This will lead to the ultimate breakthrough, the coming of the true and complete Redemption led by Mashiach, of whom it is said: [37] "He who breaks through shall proceed before them." This is also reflected in the fact that Mashiach will be a descendant of King David, and moreover, one of the signs [with which we will be able to identify] Mashiach is that he will "delve deeply into the study of the Torah and, like David, his ancestor, observe its mitzvos... and fight the wars of G-d." [38] For David is a descendant of Peretz [39] of whom it is said: [40] "With what strength have you broken through!" alluding to the potential to break through all barriers, limitations, and constraints.

Footnotes:

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

  2. (Back to text) Vol. I, Hashmatos, p. 261b; Vol. III, p. 176a.

  3. (Back to text) Or HaTorah, Nach on this verse, secs. 3 and 7 (pgs. 486-487); the maamar of this title, 5708 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5708, p 159).

  4. (Back to text) Shmos 13:3; Devarim 16:3.

  5. (Back to text) Yirmeyahu 16:14-15; Yeshayahu 43:18-19; Berachos 12b; Tosafos, Pesachim 116b, Mechilta, Shmos 15:1; see also the maamar entitled Ki BiChipazon Yatzusa (Sefer HaMaamarim 5708, p. 151-152).

  6. (Back to text) Berachos, loc. cit.

  7. (Back to text) Pri Eytz Chayim, Shaar Chag HaMatzos, ch. 7, quoted in Or HaTorah, loc. cit., sec. 8.

  8. (Back to text) Zohar Chadash, Parshas Yisro; see also Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 32.

  9. (Back to text) Pardes, Shaar 13 (Shaar HaShaarim), ch. 1. See also the gloss of Nitzutzei Zohar to the Zohar Chadash, loc. cit. (Miluim p. 124 ff.).

  10. (Back to text) See Or HaTorah, loc. cit., sec. 3.

  11. (Back to text) Mikdash Melech to Zohar, Vol. II 40b; cited in Or HaTorah, Bo, p. 282.

  12. (Back to text) Or HaTorah, Nach, loc. cit.

  13. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 52:13.

  14. (Back to text) Likkutei Torah, the conclusion of Shir HaShirim (p. 51b); Biurei HaZohar, Vayeishev 23a-b.

  15. (Back to text) Shaar HaKerias Shema, ch. 15; see Likkutei Torah, loc. cit.

  16. (Back to text) The series of maamarim entitled BiShaah SheHikdimu, 5672, Vol. II, p. 924; see also Sefer HaMaamarim 5672-5676, p. 67.

  17. (Back to text) The Haggadah, the section beginning VaYotzieinu Havayah and Matzah Zu.

  18. (Back to text) Zohar, Vol. II, p. 36a, Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim 15a; see the maamar entitled Kimei Tzeisecho, 5708, ch. 11 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5708, p. 164a), et al.

  19. (Back to text) Shmos 12:23.

  20. (Back to text) Yeshayahu 30:20; see Tanya, ch. 36 (p. 46a) and the maamar Ki BiChipazon cited above.

  21. (Back to text) See the maamar entitled Kimei Tzeisecho cited above.

  22. (Back to text) The maamar released in 5708, sec. 12 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5708, p. 164).

  23. (Back to text) Shmos 3:12. See the commentary of Rashi (based on Shmos Rabbah 3:4) to that verse.

  24. (Back to text) Shmos Rabbah 12:3; Midrash Tanchumah, Parshas Va'eira, sec. 15.

  25. (Back to text) [For the very fact that they remained confined within their natural limits implies that they were not yet freed.]

  26. (Back to text) Tanya, loc. cit.

  27. (Back to text) The series of maamarim entitled BiShaah SheHikdimu, 5672, Vol. II, pgs. 930-931.

  28. (Back to text) Rambam, Mishneh Torah, the conclusion of Hilchos Melachim.

  29. (Back to text) See Zohar, Vol. III, p. 90b, [which states that "the Holy One, blessed be He, will be manifest only in a perfect place."] Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim 24a, [explains that because the material realm has been refined until it is "a perfect place," the revelation of G-dliness combines the advantages of revelation from above and the refinement of the material plane].

  30. (Back to text) The maamar entitled Kimei Tzeisecho cited above, sec. 12.

  31. (Back to text) Pesachim 116b.

  32. (Back to text) This addition (explanation) was made by the Alter Rebbe, in Tanya, ch. 47. Note the explanation in the note in the Haggadah Shel Pesach Im Likkutei Taamim, p. 618.

  33. (Back to text) The conclusion of ch. 47.

  34. (Back to text) [I.e., the mention of the exodus in the third paragraph of the Shema which speaks of the commandment to wear tzitzis.]

  35. (Back to text) [I.e., the intent in the recitation of the Shema is to come to an all-encompassing love for G-d that surpasses one's personal limits, an expression of mesirus nefesh in potentia. Similarly, Egypt is identified with the constraints that limit the expression of our G-dly natures. Indeed, the very Hebrew name for Egypt, Mitzrayim relates to the word meitzarim, Hebrew for "boundary" or "limitation." The spiritual counterpart of the exodus from Egypt is the transcendence of our boundaries and limitations. This is identical with the intent of the Shema.]

  36. (Back to text) Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Krias Shema 1:3; see Sichos Yud-Alef Nissan, and Acharon Shel Pesach, 5742.

  37. (Back to text) Michah 2:13, Aggadas Bereishis, ch. 64; see also Bereishis Rabbah 85:14, and Rashi's commentary to Michah, loc. cit.

  38. (Back to text) Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim 11:4.

  39. (Back to text) Rus 4:18.

  40. (Back to text) Bereishis 38:39.
 Foreword Chapters 5-7



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