On Seder night, all of us are obligated to see ourselves as if we personally left Egypt: In every generation a person must see 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.”

There are many interpretations of what it means to “see ourselves as if we left Egypt.” One well-known commentary is that each of us must try to imagine what it was like to have been a slave in Egypt and then look at ourselves as though we were personally redeemed. Another is that each person should consider the Exodus from Egypt as a personal miracle, done for his or her sake, since the redemption of our forefathers means that we ourselves do not have to be slaves today.

The Baal HaTanya explains that the main aspect of galus is galus ha’nefesh (exile of the soul) – when a Jew’s unique inner divine spark is in confinement and hidden from him. Without a connection to our Divine essence and to Hashem, we are no different from the animals that roam around the world. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov further explains that the concept of “Mitzrayim” is a state of being where you cannot see Divine Providence in your life. It is really “m’tzarim,” a narrow place of constriction and distress, darkness and slavery. It’s a place where the forces of nature seem so real and overpowering that you can witness wondrous miracles, but not be moved by them. You can see the sea split before your very eyes and attribute it all to nature: “Well, there must have been a really strong wind that day.”

Perhaps the biggest and most detrimental illusion of all is that we feel that we are trapped, that the gates of t’shuvah are closed to us and that we will never be able to break free from our personal shortcomings, imperfections, and blocks. Each one of us is brought into the world to refine and perfect ourselves and ultimately bring the world to completion by revealing Hashem, Who is hidden within it. In the upper realms, there is an image of who we could be and our goal is to get ourselves “down here” to match the image “up there.” On the Seder night, we should try to see ourselves as if we’ve already left our personal Mitzrayim and believe with all of our might that we can get there.

In fact, the word “atzmo,” usually translated as “himself,” can also be translated as “his essence.” This is an allusion to the inner Divine spark found in each of us. We must seek to strengthen this holy spark no matter how low a state we reach (Yismach Yisrael Haggadah, p. 107a). According to the Baal Shem Tov, a person is where his or her thoughts are. If our thoughts during Seder night are where we could be personally, where we want to be, then in the spiritual realms it is as if we are already there. (Material was previously published on www.Shiratmiriam.com.)

List of People Who Need
a R’fuah Sh’leimah

(a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Boris Baruch ben Frecha Frida

Alter Shmuel ben Chavah Leah

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Chaim ben Malkah

Yehudah Yudel ben Miriam Gittel

Rav Shmuel Zalman ben Chanah

Gavriel Gabby ben Stella Sarah

Moshe ben Shoshanah

Yehudah Avraham ben Sarah

David Yosef Elimelech ben Elisheva Hinda

Yisachar David ben Chayah

Ariel Shmuel ben Leah

Yitzchak ben Miriam

Matisyahu Yeshayahu ben Chanah Chinka

Avraham Alan ben Leah Angela

Rabbi Aharon David ben Tzivia Leah Chadash

Shlomo ben Mazal

Chaim ben Pesha Miriam

Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim ben Pesha Miriam


Tova Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Chayah Shoshanah Tovah bas Esther

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Malkah bat Allegre

Gittel bas Sarah

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Chayah Malkah bas Charlotte

Rachel bas Miriam

Olga Chayah bas Gilah

Chayah Rivkah bas Yocheved

Sarah bas Ilanah

Nelly Nekdam bas Mafrat

Limor bas Chanah

Batyah bas Esther

Rachel bas Hinda Reizel

Julie Neshla bas Jamileh

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