Leaving Egypt Today Really? Or As If? A Yom Iyyun with Romemu and Hebrew College
1 א

בכל דור ודור חיב אדם לראות את עצמו כאלו הוא יצא ממצרים, שנאמר (שמות יג), והגדת לבנך ביום ההוא לאמר, בעבור זה עשה יי לי בצאתי ממצרים.

לפיכך אנחנו חיבין להודות , להלל, לשבח, לפאר, לרומם, להדר, לברך, לעלה, ולקלס, למי שעשה לאבותינו ולנו את כל הנסים האלו, הוציאנו מעבדות לחרות, מיגון לשמחה, ומאבל ליום טוב, ומאפלה לאור גדול, ומשעבוד לגאלה.ונאמר לפניו, הללויה.

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 YHVH 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!

2 ב

(ח) וְהִגַּדְתָּ֣ לְבִנְךָ֔ בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא לֵאמֹ֑ר בַּעֲב֣וּר זֶ֗ה עָשָׂ֤ה יי לִ֔י בְּצֵאתִ֖י מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃

(8) And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying: It is because of that which the YHVH did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.

3 ג

גמ' אמר רבא צריך שיאמר " 'ואותנו הוציא משם', שלא אבותינו בלבד גאל אלא אף אותנו גאל"

Rava said: One [is additionally] to say 'and we [too] were taken from that place [Mitzrayim], not only our ancestors were redeemed but we too were redeemed'.

4 ד

(כג) וְאוֹתָ֖נוּ הוֹצִ֣יא מִשָּׁ֑ם לְמַ֙עַן֙ הָבִ֣יא אֹתָ֔נוּ לָ֤תֶת לָ֙נוּ֙ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לַאֲבֹתֵֽינוּ׃

(23) And we were brought by Him from there [Egypt] that He might bring us in, to give us the land which He swore unto our fathers.

5 ה
(פז) בְּכָל-דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת-עַצְמוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר, בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה יי לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרַיִם. לֹא אֶת-אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בִּלְבָד גָּאַל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, אֶלָּא אַף אוֹתָנוּ גָּאַל עִמָּהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְאוֹתָנוּ הוֹצִיא מִשָּׁם, לְמַעַן הָבִיא אוֹתָנוּ, לָתֶת לָנוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשָׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֵינוּ.

(83) In each and every generation, a person is obligated to see himself as if he left Egypt, as it is stated (Exodus 13:8); "For the sake of this, did the Lord do [this] for me in my going out of Egypt." Not only our ancestors did the Holy One, blessed be He, redeem, but rather also us [together] with them did he redeem, as it is stated (Deuteronomy 6:23); "And He took us out from there, in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He swore unto our fathers."

6 ו

(ו) בכל דור ודור חייב אדם להראות את עצמו כאילו הוא בעצמו יצא עתה משעבוד מצרים שנאמר ואותנו הוציא משם וגו'.

ועל דבר זה צוה הקב"ה בתורה 'וזכרת כי עבד היית' כלומר כאילו אתה בעצמך היית עבד ויצאת לחירות ונפדית.

(ז) לפיכך כשסועד אדם בלילה הזה צריך לאכול ולשתות והוא מיסב דרך חירות.

(ח) אפילו עני שבישראל לא יאכל עד שיסב...

(6) In each and every generation, a person must present himself as if he, himself, has now left the slavery of Egypt, as [Deuteronomy 6:23] states: "He took us out from there."

Regarding this manner, God commanded in the Torah: "Remember that you were a slave [Deuteronomy 5:15]" - i.e., as if you, yourself, were a slave and went out to freedom and were redeemed.

(7)Therefore, when a person feasts on this night, he must eat and drink while he is reclining in the manner of free men...

(8) Even one of Israel's poor should not eat until he [can] recline.

7ז

עולת ראיה / חלק ב / הגדה של פסח

בכל דור ודור חיב אדם לראות את עצמו כאילו הוא יצא ממצרים. בכח הזרע הנטוי', להוציא אל הפועל את רוממות המעלה מעט מעט בכל דור ודור, חיב כל אחד להשלים, להשיג ולהרגיש את חלקו בשלמות המעלה, השייך לערכו ולדורו, המגיע לו מיציאת מצרים.

Olat Ra'ayah/ Part II / Haggadah

"In every generation, a person…"

Through the strength of the 'outstretched arm' to make manifest the elevation (romemut) little-by-little in every generation, we are each obligated to complete, to perceive, to sense our portion (chelek) in the higher perfection which is unique and appropriate to that time and value (sourced in the original leaving of Egypt)

8 ח

Escaping the 'Terror of History'

"In our day, when historical pressure no longer allows any escape, how can man tolerate the catastrophes and horrors of history—from collective deportations and massacres to atomic bombings—if beyond them he can glimpse no sign, no transhistorical meaning; if they are only the blind play of economic, social, or political forces, or, even worse, only the result of the 'liberties' that a minority takes and exercises directly on the stage of universal history?

"We know how, in the past, humanity has been able to endure the sufferings we have enumerated: they were regarded as a punishment inflicted by God, the syndrome of the decline of the 'age,' and so on. And it was possible to accept them precisely because they had a metahistorical meaning [...] Every war rehearsed the struggle between good and evil, every fresh social injustice was identified with the sufferings of the Saviour (or, for example, in the pre-Christian world, with the passion of a divine messenger or vegetation god), each new massacre repeated the glorious end of the martyrs. [...] By virtue of this view, tens of millions of men were able, for century after century, to endure great historical pressures without despairing, without committing suicide or falling into that spiritual aridity that always brings with it a relativistic or nihilistic view of history"

The Terror of the 'Eternal Return'

"In certain highly evolved societies, the intellectual élites progressively detach themselves from the patterns of traditional religion. The periodical resanctification of cosmic time then proves useless and without meaning. [...] But repetition emptied of its religious content necessarily leads to a pessimistic vision of existence. When it is no longer a vehicle for reintegrating a primordial situation [...] that is, when it is desacralized, cyclic time becomes terrifying; it is seen as a circle forever turning on itself, repeating itself to infinity."

9 ט

Ritual, Myth, and Eternal Return: Mircea Eliade

Ritual, Storytelling and Sacred Time

"In imitating the exemplary acts of a god or of a mythic hero, or simply by recounting their adventures, the man of an archaic society detaches himself from profane time and magically re-enters the Great Time, the sacred time."

10 י

Table Discussion:

1. Is it hard to feel that you really left Mitzrayim? Is it easy?

2. Is it hard to feel as if you too left Mitzrayim? Is it easy?

3. In what ways are you leaving Mitzrayim this year?

4. Is the k'ilu/as if a quality that permeates other religious moments?