We are two weeks before פסח and most of us are already confined to eating חמץ, in the kitchen only. Things start getting worse in about a week, when we actually start getting rid of all the חמץ in the house - and land up eating pasta (from the only pot not packed away) 3 times a day. As we get even closer to פסח, about 2 or 3 days before, we get rid of all the חמץ and then there is absolutely nothing to eat and we basically fast until .פסח

Theתורה tells us in דברים פרק טז פסוק ג , לֹא-תֹאכַל עָלָיו חָמֵץ, שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תֹּאכַל-עָלָיו מַצּוֹת לֶחֶם עֹנִי: כִּי בְחִפָּזוֹן, יָצָאתָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם--לְמַעַן תִּזְכֹּר אֶת-יוֹם צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ. “You shall eat no leavened bread… So that you will remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life”.

Every single day of the year we are expected to remember that G-d took us out of Egypt.

But just remembering everyday in our minds is not enough it says in שמות פרק יג פסוק ט with regards to תפילין וְהָיָה לְךָ לְאוֹת עַל-יָדְךָ, וּלְזִכָּרוֹן בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ, לְמַעַן תִּהְיֶה תּוֹרַת יְהוָה, בְּפִיךָ: כִּי בְּיָד חֲזָקָה, הוֹצִאֲךָ יְהוָה מִמִּצְרָיִם.
“And it shall be a sign for you on your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, so that the law of the Hashem may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand Hashem brought us out of Egypt.”

We have to wear תפילין everyday why, to remember that G-d took us out of Egypt.

Every single שבת is also a remembrance that G-d took us out of Egypt. In the 10 commandments in דברים פרק ה פסוק יא -יד we are told to keep שבת. In פסוק יא it says שָׁמוֹר אֶת-יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת, לְקַדְּשׁוֹ, כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוְּךָ, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ
“Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you”.

it says פסוק יד And in וְזָכַרְתָּ, כִּי עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, וַיֹּצִאֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִשָּׁם, בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה; עַל-כֵּן, צִוְּךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לַעֲשׂוֹת, אֶת-יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת.
“And you shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your G-d brought you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your G-d commanded you to keep the Sabbath day”.

It doesn’t stop there because on every single Yom Tov we mention in the קידוש that it is a זכר ליציאת מצרים - A remembrance that G-d took us out of Egypt.

All of this is still not enough because as we mentioned before once a year we have a festival filled with laws from the Torah, and laws from the rabbis totally devoted to reminding us that G-d took us out of Egypt.

Not only do we have to spend many hours of the first 2 nights fulfilling our obligation to read the Haggadah, going into every little minor detail that went on there, we are taught by the Rambam (הלכות חמץ ומצה פרק ז הלכה א)and othersוכל המאריך בדברים שאירעו ושהיו הרי זה משובח.
“Praiseworthy is the one that discusses the happenings at length”

And even more interesting is that the Torah teaches us exactly how to teach our children the story. The Torah lists 4 different types of children that will each need to be taught in different ways. That’s how meticulous the Torah is that we remember the story form generation to generation.

Even the מצוה in the תורה for אמונה – the first of the Ten Commandments, is from the verse in דברים פרק ה פסוק ו that says אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים: לֹא-יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, עַל-פָּנָי.
“I am Hashem your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods except for Me.”

The whole style of the telling of the story at the Seder also follows this same pattern that we’ve been discussing. We say that the Korban Pesach is to remind us how Hashem passed over our houses when killing the first-born Egyptian children and not ours. The Maror is to remind us how they made our lives so bitter. The Matzah is to remind us how we escaped without having enough time to allow our bread to rise.

Another interesting point is that the Mitzvah of Korban Pesach is one of the only 2 מצוות עשה that one would get כרת (while other wouldn’t even get lashes) if he didn’t do it. The Ramban explains that it’s obvious why you get punished so severely – it is זכר ליציאת מצרים.

We cans all agree that this all boils down to one big Question. Why are the Jews so obsessed with יציאת מצרים ? Why is it so central to Judaism?

There are a few approaches to answering this question – I’m going to take that of the Ramban at the end of פרשת בא, and that is that Hashem is with us all the time, right here, right now living with us – standing behind and guiding our every move. Since He doesn’t reveal Himself nowadays (the reason beyond our scope now), we need to draw our belief in His continuous presence from the time when He revealed Himself completely openly.

That makes sense, but it doesn’t really answer the question. Why so many reminders – morning, night, Shabbos, Yom Tov, on our arms, on our heads, Pesach etc, one or two reminders would have been enough.

And also if this is the basis of our אמונה we all know that the biggest revelation of G-d was at Mount Sinai? That was an episode in our history where we saw G-d with the most clarity possible. The posuk says in דברים פרק ד פסוק לב ולג הֲנִהְיָה, כַּדָּבָר הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה, אוֹ, הֲנִשְׁמַע כָּמֹהוּ.
הֲשָׁמַע עָם קוֹל אֱלֹהִים מְדַבֵּר מִתּוֹךְ-הָאֵשׁ, כַּאֲשֶׁר-שָׁמַעְתָּ אַתָּה--וַיֶּחִי. “Has there ever been anything like this great thing or has anything like it been heard? Have a people ever heard the voice of G-d speaking from the midst of the fire as you have heard and survived?”

Our whole nation heard G-d speak; there is no other nation that even claims to have had such a revelation. It would seem much more fitting to have such an abundance of מצוות reminding us about Sinai, why us coming out of Egypt?

Let’s discuss a few things that went on in Egypt and then we’ll try answer the question.

We are told that we came into Egypt as only 70 people (8) and at the end of our slavery there were millions and millions of Jews. How did that happen? It says in שמות פרק א(9)
וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, פָּרוּ וַיִּשְׁרְצוּ וַיִּרְבּוּ וַיַּעַצְמוּ--בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד; וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ, אֹתָם. “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.” Rashi explains
וישרצו - שהיו יולדות ששה בכרס אחד:

Let’s try and imagine what went on. Whenever a woman fell pregnant it was sextuplets. Think about it she’s still getting over the last set of 6 she gave birth to last year, her mother can’t help her because she’s already given birth to 10 such sets, so she’s busy with 6 kids in Shiduchim and 6 kids just before there barmitzvahs and 6 still in diapers. Her sister can’t help her because she’ also got 36 kids under the age of 8. How did she remember their names? How did she change so many diapers?

Chazal say that G-d sent angels to look after the Jewish children immediately after birth.

פרעה was the most powerful man in the world at the time. When his astrologers told him that the Jewish saviour was about to be born. He had it all under control. All Jewish male children to be born were sentenced to be death. But Hashem showed him that He is in control and instead פרעה lands up bringing up the Jewish saviour in his own home – treating him like a Prince.

That was clearly G-d!

The first plague – Blood, Chazal say that it was to such an extreme that if an Egyptian would spit, it would be blood. They would beat their slaves to give them water but as soon it would come to their hands it would change to blood. Unless they actually paid the Jews for the water there was no way they could drink! Chazal say that after this plague no Jew was ever tempted again with idol worshiping - they could see G-d so explicitly!

The 2nd plague - The Frogs, The Zohar says that the worst part of this plague was not the fact that they were in their beds, their shoes, their food, and everywhere else, rather it was the absolutely deafening noise that came out of these billions of frogs. They couldn’t hear each other talk they couldn’t sleep! But the Jews heard absolutely nothing – dead silence.

G-d showed Himself clearly!

Hail – He made peace between fire and water, two absolute opposites together as one entity.

We could go on and on.

Let’s jump to the end after all the plagues. We were commanded ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬in שמות פרק יא פסוק ב וג דַּבֶּר-נָא, בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם; וְיִשְׁאֲלוּ אִישׁ מֵאֵת רֵעֵהוּ, וְאִשָּׁה מֵאֵת רְעוּתָהּ, כְּלֵי-כֶסֶף, וּכְלֵי זָהָב. Speak now in the ears of the people, and let them ask every man of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. וַיִּתֵּן יְהוָה אֶת-חֵן הָעָם, בְּעֵינֵי מִצְרָיִם; גַּם הָאִישׁ מֹשֶׁה, גָּדוֹל מְאֹד בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, בְּעֵינֵי עַבְדֵי-פַרְעֹה, וּבְעֵינֵי הָעָם.
And Hashem gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.

Try picturing the scene; they were due to leave on the 15th of Nissan at exactly midday. That morning they were told to go knocking on the doors of the Egyptians requesting their valuables. Fatima wakes up that morning to the smell of the Korban Pesach – their g-ds burning throughout the country, She soon finds her oldest son dead. The absolute pain and anguish that she must have been going through is unimaginable. The hatred toward the Jews must have tremendous. Suddenly there’s a knock at her door, standing thee is a little rebbetzin with a big smile on her face. Fatima’s about to lash out at her when against her will as the Posuk says וַיִּתֵּן יְהוָה אֶת-חֵן הָעָם
She welcomes her in asks her what she can do for her. The rebbetzin says that we are about to leave and go and serve our G-d (which is why your son just died) and we’d like some clothes and jewellery for the journey. Not only does she give her what she asks for but she goes on to offer even more things. As she leaves Fatima goes on screaming “and they even take our jewellery”!

Hashem showed that He is even in control of “חן” He runs the show not us!

קרבן פסח – roasted whole in front of a nation that had served this goat all their lives. Imagine walking in to the middle of the main market place in Gaza and burning a huge picture of Yasser Arafat. חזל say that nobody even got a scratch. Why, because He was right there in front of our eyes in complete control of everything.

There are two facets of our אמונה. On the one hand we need to know with absolute certainty about the existence of G-d. On the other hand we have to feel Him in our hearts all the time. It says in דברים פרק ד פסוק ל

וְיָדַעְתָּ הַיּוֹם, וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ אֶל-לְבָבֶךָ, כִּי יְהוָה הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים, בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וְעַל-הָאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת “Know today, and lay it to your heart, that Hashem, He is G-d in heaven above and upon the earth beneath; there is none else.”

Its one thing to know something logically in your mind but it’s another to know something ingrained on to your heart. Feeling His constant presence and supervision in our everyday lives.

In order to prove a knowledge-based-awareness of G-d the revelation at Mount Sinai was the best incident that can give us that perfect clarity. That knowledge doesn’t need constant reminders and the one reminder in Deuteronomy chapter 4 verse 9 is more than enough. The revelation at Sinai was a prophetic revelation whereas the revelation during our Exodus was one where G-d actually revealed Himself in our everyday lives. To internalise G-d and his consistent supervision over us the story of our Exodus is unmatched. The knowledge of the story alone is not enough, we need constant daily reminders so that we can completely internalise it and really feel it in hearts. It’s not just knowledge it’s a foundation of our אמונה - that G-d was there visibly, by our sides. That’s the reason behind so many מצוות with so many intricacies and כל המאריך הרי זה משובח!

For logical clarity of G-d existence מעמד הר סיני was the clearest we got, throughout history, but with regard to the והשיבות אל לבביך type of אמונה, the Exodus was a time where ה'‘s presence was tangible, right there in control of everything. That’s why we have to go over the story again and again mentioning all the fine details.
If we could live our lives with ‘ה in our hearts always, we’d lead different lives we’d Daven differently, serve ’ה differently. That’s why the exodus is such a central theme in Judaism; this is the only way we could completely absorb it!

The other is bris mila, which is also related to זכר ליציאת מצרים

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