By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
We read in the Hagadah – story of Passover that over Passover there is a commandment to recount, and communicate, the story of Exodus from Egypt. “And, all those who increase in telling the story of Passover, is praiseworthy. And even if we are all wise people, people of understanding and we know the entire Bible, it is a commandment to recount the story of Exodus.”
A couple of questions are in order.
There are many commandments in the Bible that one must observe whether they are a Moses, King Solomon or your simple average wood chopper. Observing the commandments, is a matter of deed, action, doing, because all that really matters in this world, isn’t so much what you have in mind, as what you do in practice. So why would anyone think, that talking about the miracles of Exodus would be something that a wise man or an understanding man, would perhaps be exempt from doing?
Another thing, we don’t find when doing any other commandment a value, in prolonging and stretching its observance. If you where to give a little charity or a lot, the good deed is the same, a little more valuable or a little less valuable. While here, the book seems to be saying, the more we talk about Exodus, the more we elongate its actual performance, the better it is. To plagiarize another set of questions. Why is this commandment, different from other commandments, in that the actual deed is recommended to be stretched?
Spiritually and mystically, the big world, as it is in the small world, every human being, Egypt represents the narrow passage between the head and the heart. It’s not easy getting the thoughts and conclusions of our mind to affect the emotions of our heart. There is a passage, the neck, and it’s narrow, only a little of the mind, gets down over there through the normal channels. That is why, many times, people can understand with their mind one thing, and yet in their heart they feel completely different. They encounter great difficulty trying to change the feelings of their heart, even when they know clearly in their minds, they should be feeling differently.
There is a subconscious (in truth higher, wider and deeper than regular conscience) that when accessed, encounters no hindrances in reaching and affecting the emotions and feelings of the heart. Its’ power is limitless. This is the essence of going out, liberating oneself from Egypt, spiritually. Out of the limitations that holds us down, and admittance into a higher stratosphere.
Some people might argue, after all, human beings are defined by the fact that they are intellectual, rational beings. I, have success influencing and controlling my emotions and desires with the sheer power of my wisdom and intellect. I don’t need anything deeper, wider or higher than intellect. They say, intellect itself – mind, over matter.
Therefore the Hagadah instructs us, that even if we where all wise and we think we have it all under control, there is a need for everyone, to experience a going out of Egypt. Accessing, this higher frequency within. The proof, is in the unusual requirement of the commandment itself which tells us, “Whoever increases and stretches the telling of this miracle…..” This unique command to experience freedom means, more than what’s otherwise the normal boundary.
While it is true that in the majority of situations when we serve and worship G-d, there is a finite requirement for the observance, and once met the deed is fulfilled. In the case of liberating oneself from our own limitations, the mitzvah-good deed itself, has no limits, and takes on a limitless character. Going out of Egypt, to free oneself from his own constraints, to become more than yourself in life, this is an observance that demands of a person to access and reach the “increase” level.
Now we understand the meaning of the statement, “It was in the merit of faith that our ancestors where redeemed from Egypt.” To free oneself from any internal Egypt, it is necessary to access an energy that surpasses logic. The mind must be left behind and commitment and surrender is what attaches us to more. Only with faith, can one become, a free people.
That is why the Passover story continues, with the great sages who already fulfilled all that was necessary for the evening, and still went beyond, and conversed all night, about the great miracles.
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