Remember the Matan Torah Experience here in Parshas VaEschanan? Now, Moshe concludes the Parsha by describing the ultimate Jewish Learning Experience. It’s soooo important that we never want to “Pass Over” this experience. It’s the Passover Experience!
Now, back to the Parsha:
Moshe said to his people, “On the night of Pesach, you’ll be eating Matzah and the bitter Maror. You’ll also be drinking wine on fine couches like princes and princesses. Your children will surely ask about this strange sight. ‘What are these Mitzvos that HaShem commanded us all about… it’s confusing! Are we commemorating slavery or celebrating freedom?’ they will wonder.”
“To answer their questions,” Moshe continued, “tell them, ‘Avodim HaYinu L’Pharoah B’Mistraim – “We were slaves to Paraoh in Egypt”; VaYotsienu HaShem – And HaShem took us out with an outstretched hand and with great might!”
“Oh I get it… It’s both. Commemorating slavery and celebrating freedom!”
“You must describe to your children how HaShem took you out of Egypt.”
“Me? Out of Egypt? I wasn’t even born then.”
“Yes, you! That’s the idea! Make it an experience so very real that it will become a living experience, as if you were there. Avodim Hayinu – we were slaves to Paraoh in Egypt and HaShem took us out of Egypt with His mighty hand!”
Moshe’s message was clear. Somehow, some way, Jewish people throughout the ages transform their Pesach Seder into a real, live experience – from bitter slavery to fabulous freedom!
In fact, we begin telling the story at the Seder with these very same words, Avadim Hayinu – “we were slaves…