Freedom and Servitude by Avi Rosalimsky


In the paragraph of Avadim Hayinu, we state that had Hashem not taken us out “Harei Anu UVaneinu UVnei Vaneinu Meshubadim Hayinu LeFar’oh BeMitzrayim,” “Then we, our children, and our children’s children would still be enslaved to Paroh in Egypt.”  Just like slaves in crumbling empires throughout history, the Jews would have been eventually emancipated. How, then, is this statement accurate?

Even if Paroh would have eventually freed us, we would have still remained “enslaved” to Paroh nowadays had we not received the Torah, as we would most likely have been stuck to the immoral ways of the Egyptians and not to the ways of Hashem. Chazal say that when Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, we were on the 49th level of Tumah, and had we stayed in Mitzrayim, we would have remained on that level forever. Thus, had Hashem not redeemed us when He did, we would have been “enslaved” to the ways of Paroh and the Egyptians. 

Emphasizing Semichut Geulah LeTefillah’s importance, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 111) states that interruptions between the Berachah of Ga’al Yisrael, which conclude Birchot Keriat Shema that discuss our redemption from slavery to Paroh, and Shemoneh Esrei, where we declare our devotion to Hashem, are forbidden in order to demonstrate that we became slaves to Hashem after Yetziat Mitzraim.

By internalizing that although we are no longer slaves to Paroh we are still servants of Hashem, hopefully, we will be able to serve Hashem fully this Yom Tov and throughout our lives.  

-Adapted from a Devar Torah from Rabbi Ezra Wiener

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