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Process Process of Redemption

What are we celebrating on Pesach? Of course, as we all know, we commemorate the Exodus of the Jewish People from Egypt, over 3300 years ago. The Exodus was accompanied with great miracles, most notably the ten plagues and the splitting of the Red Sea. To recall these events, we gather round the Seder table on the 15th of Nissan, to read the Hagaddah and eat symbolic foods that represent the enslavement and redemption.

This is part of the story but not the whole story. The crux of Pesach is not the commemoration of long-ago events, but rather how those events impact us in a modernday context. The theme of the Seder is to reenact the experience of Redemption, as our sages say: “In every generation, we must feel as though we personally went out of Egypt.”

The sages were not referring to some sort of trek to our roots, backpacking through the Sinai Desert and touring the pyramids. Their intention was a spiritual sort of reenactment – to free ourselves of all spiritual forms of enslavement and limitations, which prevent us from connecting with our Creator.

Ever since G-d created the world, there have existed two types of spiritual energy, the pure and the impure. G-d has given us the task of sifting through all of creation, fighting against the forces of impurity and liberating the forces of holiness. When G-d personally came to redeem our forefathers from Egypt, He gave them the power to overcome the forces of darkness and be victorious.

The struggle, which we continue to fight until this day, revolves around observance of Torah and mitzvot. Each mitzvah that we do adds strength to the side of holiness, and weakens the impure side.

This is the real meaning of the Seder that we celebrate each year. We remind ourselves that we are in middle of a process, begun by G-d Himself over 3300 years ago. Our job is to see the process through to its completion – to vanquish the forces of Egypt, “Mitzrayim” – that limit us in our spiritual advancement and keep us from fulfilling the Divine will. This process will conclude with the coming of Moshiach, and the end of exile. Then, as the prophet Isaiah said, G-d will “remove the spirit of impurity from the land.” No longer will we struggle against the forces of darkness; they will be completely obliterated.

Our generation is in a unique position, to finally complete the process and terminate the exile. The Lubavitcher Rebbe has told us that we are the final generation of exile and the first generation of redemption.

Let us hope and pray that this year, we will experience redemption not in a symbolic sense but in the flesh, and celebrate Pesach not in exile but in Jerusalem.

 

 


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