The Passover Haggadah: Nuances of Freedom
(א) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה בֹּ֖א אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה וְדִבַּרְתָּ֣ אֵלָ֗יו כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י הָֽעִבְרִ֔ים שַׁלַּ֥ח אֶת־עַמִּ֖י וְיַֽעַבְדֻֽנִי׃
(1) The LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews: Let My people go to worship Me.

(לט) וְכִֽי־יָמ֥וּךְ אָחִ֛יךָ עִמָּ֖ךְ וְנִמְכַּר־לָ֑ךְ לֹא־תַעֲבֹ֥ד בּ֖וֹ עֲבֹ֥דַת עָֽבֶד׃ (מ) כְּשָׂכִ֥יר כְּתוֹשָׁ֖ב יִהְיֶ֣ה עִמָּ֑ךְ עַד־שְׁנַ֥ת הַיֹּבֵ֖ל יַעֲבֹ֥ד עִמָּֽךְ׃ (מא) וְיָצָא֙ מֵֽעִמָּ֔ךְ ה֖וּא וּבָנָ֣יו עִמּ֑וֹ וְשָׁב֙ אֶל־מִשְׁפַּחְתּ֔וֹ וְאֶל־אֲחֻזַּ֥ת אֲבֹתָ֖יו יָשֽׁוּב׃ (מב) כִּֽי־עֲבָדַ֣י הֵ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־הוֹצֵ֥אתִי אֹתָ֖ם מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם לֹ֥א יִמָּכְר֖וּ מִמְכֶּ֥רֶת עָֽבֶד׃

(39) If your kinsman under you continues in straits and must give himself over to you, do not subject him to the treatment of a slave. (40) He shall remain with you as a hired or bound laborer; he shall serve with you only until the jubilee year. (41) Then he and his children with him shall be free of your authority; he shall go back to his family and return to his ancestral holding.— (42) For they are My servants, whom I freed from the land of Egypt; they may not give themselves over into servitude.—

(א) וְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־תָב֣וֹא אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לְךָ֖ נַחֲלָ֑ה וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֖הּ וְיָשַׁ֥בְתָּ בָּֽהּ׃ (ב) וְלָקַחְתָּ֞ מֵרֵאשִׁ֣ית ׀ כָּל־פְּרִ֣י הָאֲדָמָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר תָּבִ֧יא מֵֽאַרְצְךָ֛ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָ֖ךְ וְשַׂמְתָּ֣ בַטֶּ֑נֶא וְהָֽלַכְתָּ֙ אֶל־הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִבְחַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לְשַׁכֵּ֥ן שְׁמ֖וֹ שָֽׁם׃ (ג) וּבָאתָ֙ אֶל־הַכֹּהֵ֔ן אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִהְיֶ֖ה בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֑ם וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֵלָ֗יו הִגַּ֤דְתִּי הַיּוֹם֙ לַיהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ כִּי־בָ֙אתִי֙ אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהוָ֛ה לַאֲבֹתֵ֖ינוּ לָ֥תֶת לָֽנוּ׃ (ד) וְלָקַ֧ח הַכֹּהֵ֛ן הַטֶּ֖נֶא מִיָּדֶ֑ךָ וְהִ֨נִּיח֔וֹ לִפְנֵ֕י מִזְבַּ֖ח יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃ (ה) וְעָנִ֨יתָ וְאָמַרְתָּ֜ לִפְנֵ֣י ׀ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ אֲרַמִּי֙ אֹבֵ֣ד אָבִ֔י וַיֵּ֣רֶד מִצְרַ֔יְמָה וַיָּ֥גָר שָׁ֖ם בִּמְתֵ֣י מְעָ֑ט וַֽיְהִי־שָׁ֕ם לְג֥וֹי גָּד֖וֹל עָצ֥וּם וָרָֽב׃ (ו) וַיָּרֵ֧עוּ אֹתָ֛נוּ הַמִּצְרִ֖ים וַיְעַנּ֑וּנוּ וַיִּתְּנ֥וּ עָלֵ֖ינוּ עֲבֹדָ֥ה קָשָֽׁה׃ (ז) וַנִּצְעַ֕ק אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֹתֵ֑ינוּ וַיִּשְׁמַ֤ע יְהוָה֙ אֶת־קֹלֵ֔נוּ וַיַּ֧רְא אֶת־עָנְיֵ֛נוּ וְאֶת־עֲמָלֵ֖נוּ וְאֶת־לַחֲצֵֽנוּ׃ (ח) וַיּוֹצִאֵ֤נוּ יְהוָה֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם בְּיָ֤ד חֲזָקָה֙ וּבִזְרֹ֣עַ נְטוּיָ֔ה וּבְמֹרָ֖א גָּדֹ֑ל וּבְאֹת֖וֹת וּבְמֹפְתִֽים׃ (ט) וַיְבִאֵ֖נוּ אֶל־הַמָּק֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וַיִּתֶּן־לָ֙נוּ֙ אֶת־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֔את אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָֽשׁ׃ (י) וְעַתָּ֗ה הִנֵּ֤ה הֵבֵ֙אתִי֙ אֶת־רֵאשִׁית֙ פְּרִ֣י הָאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥תָּה לִּ֖י יְהוָ֑ה וְהִנַּחְתּ֗וֹ לִפְנֵי֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ וְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוִ֔יתָ לִפְנֵ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃ (יא) וְשָׂמַחְתָּ֣ בְכָל־הַטּ֗וֹב אֲשֶׁ֧ר נָֽתַן־לְךָ֛ יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ וּלְבֵיתֶ֑ךָ אַתָּה֙ וְהַלֵּוִ֔י וְהַגֵּ֖ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּקִרְבֶּֽךָ׃ (ס)

(1) When you enter the land that the LORD your God is giving you as a heritage, and you possess it and settle in it, (2) you shall take some of every first fruit of the soil, which you harvest from the land that the LORD your God is giving you, put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God will choose to establish His name. (3) You shall go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him, “I acknowledge this day before the LORD your God that I have entered the land that the LORD swore to our fathers to assign us.” (4) The priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down in front of the altar of the LORD your God. (5) You shall then recite as follows before the LORD your God: “My father was a fugitive Aramean. He went down to Egypt with meager numbers and sojourned there; but there he became a great and very populous nation. (6) The Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us; they imposed heavy labor upon us. (7) We cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our plea and saw our plight, our misery, and our oppression. (8) The LORD freed us from Egypt by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm and awesome power, and by signs and portents. (9) He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. (10) Wherefore I now bring the first fruits of the soil which You, O LORD, have given me.” You shall leave it before the LORD your God and bow low before the LORD your God. (11) And you shall enjoy, together with the Levite and the stranger in your midst, all the bounty that the LORD your God has bestowed upon you and your household.

(ה) רבן גמליאל היה אומר. כל שלא אמר שלשה דברים אלו בפסח. לא יצא ידי חובתו. ואלו הן. פסח. מצה. ומרור. פסח. על שום שפסח המקום על בתי אבותינו במצרים. מצה. על שום שנגאלו אבותינו במצרים. מרור. על שום שמררו המצריים את חיי אבותינו במצרים. בכל דור ודור חייב אדם לראות את עצמו. כאילו הוא יצא ממצרים. שנאמר (שמות יג, ח) והגדת לבנך ביום ההוא לאמר. בעבור זה עשה ה' לי בצאתי ממצרים. לפיכך אנחנו חייבין להודות. להלל. לשבח. לפאר. לרומם להדר. לברך. לעלה ולקלס. למי שעשה לאבותינו. ולנו את כל הניסים האלו. הוציאנו מעבדות לחירות. מיגון לשמחה. ומאבל ליום טוב. ומאפילה לאור גדול ומשעבוד לגאולה ונאמר לפניו הללויה:

(5) Rabban Gamliel used to say: Whoever does not mentioned these three things on Passover does not discharge his duty, and these are they: the Passover-offering, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. [The] Passover-offering [is offered] because the Omnipresent One passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt. Unleavened bread [is eaten] because our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt. [The] bitter herb is [eaten] because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our ancestors in Egypt. In every generation a person must regard himself as though he personally had gone out of Egypt, as it is said: “And you shall tell your son in that day, saying: ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.’” Therefore it is our duty to thank, praise, laud, glorify, exalt, honor, bless, extol, and adore Him Who performed all these miracles for our ancestors and us; He brought us forth from bondage into freedom, from sorrow into joy, from mourning into festivity, from darkness into great light, and from servitude into redemption. Therefore let us say before Him, Hallelujah!

Josephus, Antiquities 3: 250-251

On the second day of unleavened bread, that is to say the sixteenth, our people partake of the crops which they have reaped and which have not been touched till then, and esteeming it right first to do homage to God, to whom they owe the abundance of these gifts, they offer to him the first-fruits of the barley in the following way. After parching and crushing the little sheaf of ears and purifying the barley for grinding, they bring to the altar an assaron for God, and, having flung a handful thereof on the altar, they leave the rest for the use of the priests. Thereafter all are permitted, publicly or individually, to begin harvest.

ומנא לן דבתפלה דתניא (דברים יא, יג) לאהבה את ה' אלהיכם ולעבדו בכל לבבכם איזו היא עבודה שהיא בלב הוי אומר זו תפלה וכתיב בתריה (דברים יא, יד) ונתתי מטר ארצכם בעתו יורה ומלקוש

And from where do we learn (that the blessings for rain) are stated during the amidah? As it was taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “To love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart” (Deuteronomy 11:13). Which is the service of God that is performed in the heart? You must say that this is referring to prayer. And, afterward, it is written: “And I shall give the rain of your land in its due time, the first rain and the last rain” (Deuteronomy 11:14). This juxtaposition teaches that it is appropriate to request rain while engaged in the service of the heart, i.e., prayer.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man

Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement... get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal. ... to be spiritual is to be amazed.