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Rabbi's Message

 

The maggid section of the Haggadah begins with the famous declaration that we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.  “Abadim hayinu le-Faroh be-Misraim.”  Curiously, the Haggadah does not say that we were Pharaoh’s slaves (“abdei Faroh”); rather, it tells that we were slaves to Pharaoh.  Is there a difference?
 
Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik suggests that there is an enormous difference between the two terms.  B’nei Yisrael were slaves to Pharaoh but never became Pharaoh’s slaves.  As slaves to Pharaoh, they were mistreated, abused and fed poorly.  They worked under excruciating and torturous conditions.  They had no choice.  B’nei Yisrael lost their legal status as free people and, as such, lost the freedom to choose when and how they would work. 
 
But they never became Pharaoh’s slaves.  They never lost their spiritual and moral independence from their tormentors.  As a people, they continued to assert their own individuality and maintained their belief system and faith in the Almighty.  They never viewed Pharaoh as their master.  Only G-d could be their master because they consistently saw themselves as G-d’s servants (abdei Hashem), and never as Pharaoh’s servants.
 
Our mission on Passover, as it is on every day of the year, is to enhance our roles as G-d’s servants.
 
Hag sameah.  Tizku le-shanim rabbot. 

 

President's Message

Dear Friends,
 
Every Passover we look forward to spring, to a beautiful Seder, and to solidifying our promise of next year in Jerusalem.  Passover is a magical time, when thinking about the past actually leads to thinking about the future.
 
As we gather to retell the story of the Exodus through the Haggadah, it is my hope that our observances this year help us each renew our sense of who we are and celebrate our freedom.
 
I, along with my family, want to wish you and your families, a Chag Kasher V’Sameach!
 
Eli Matalon

 


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