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Beit Midrash Shabbat and Holidays The Haggadah

In the Wake of Passover

The spiritual uplift one experiences during Passover leaves an imprint on the soul which remains fixed there even after the exalted days of the holiday have passed. The state of the soul after Passover in no way resembles its state before Passover.
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Dedicated to the memory of
Amram son of Sultana
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Though Passover is well behind us we continue to be effected by the unique atmosphere of freedom which pervades this "Festival of Freedom." The holiday causes a reawakening of the sense of joy and respite which accompanied the Exodus from Egypt - a sense of long awaited liberation from both spiritual and physical bondage. The freedom that we were granted upon leaving Egypt was of an absolute and lofty nature. It was a freedom from all man-made doctrines and worldviews. On Passover we marched out of Egypt into the boundless expanse of Divine faith in the one true God.

It was not for the purpose of pursuing some important new human-based ideology that we fled the senselessness of Egyptian idolatry. No. In leaving Egypt, the Jewish people ascended to an altogether new plane. In fact, more accurately, we were elevated by the Almighty Himself to receive a wholly Divine faith, to adopt a godly world-view; we came out of the darkness into an exalted light.
This leap from bondage to freedom plays itself out anew each year at Passover. Each year the Exodus from Egypt repeats itself, its stage being the inner world of man - the human soul.
While it is true that there are unique individuals who are capable of tuning in to this inner experience via their senses, in general it takes place deep inside of man in a manner that remains hidden even to man himself.

Everything that we do during Passover - all the commandments and laws, the eating of Matzah for seven days and the abstention from leaven, Seder night and the recounting of the Exodus from Egypt - all of these outward acts are in perfect harmony with the inner events which are taking place deep inside of the Jewish soul at this time of year.
The sort of spiritual uplift one experiences during the Passover holiday leaves an imprint on the soul which remains fixed there even after the exalted days of the holiday have passed. The state of the soul after Passover in no way resembles the state of the soul before Passover. This is as true regarding the collective soul of the nation as it is for an individual Jewish soul. The Jewish people emerge from Passover completely revitalized, armed with the sort of force capable of uplifting the mundane and filling it with sanctity.

On this year’s Festival of Freedom we absorbed another measure of freedom. We removed another layer of exile-ness, a layer of subservience to others. We peeled off another coat of blind admiration for everything that comes from the West or from the Far East. We gained a stronger sense of self-esteem and a healthy and instinctive self-confidence with regard to the value of the Jewish people and their lofty task of disseminating the light of God throughout the world.
A complete redemption embraces both the body and the soul. It is impossible for the spiritual aspect of existence to be redeemed without an accompanying redemption of the physical. Hence, the objective of repossessing the entirety of the land of Israel, an actual physical redemption, and the goal of an all-encompassing appearance of the Torah in Israel, a spiritual redemption, are one and the same. When combined they make up the true drive for redemption.

Passover and Shavuot are bound to one another. Therefore, when exiting the Passover festival, the "Festival of Freedom," we are filled with desire to attain complete redemption, to struggle for our land, to liberate her and ourselves from dependence upon others. We are returning to our own land, the land of our ancestors, the land of God; and we are returning to ourselves, to our souls, to the Almighty and His Torah. God is with us, and with His help we will succeed in overcoming all of the obstacles which stand between us and our long-awaited redemption.
Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed
Rosh Yeshiva of the Bet El Yeshiva, was the head of the Yesha rabbis board and rabbi of Bet-El, founder and head of Arutz 7.
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