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  An Overview - Part VII: Our Obligation from
Haggadah - Expanded Edition
Passover Haggadah with translation and a new commentary based on Talmudic, Midrashic, and Rabbinic sources

By Rabbi Joseph Elias 


Other Available Chapters
An Overview - Part VI: God's People 
An Overview - Part VIII: From Bondage to Freedom 
An Overview - Part IX: The Redemption To Come 
An Overview - Part X: The Four Cups 
An Overview - Part XI: Preparation For Pesach 


An Overview - Part VII: Our Obligation

Thus said Hakadosh Baruch Hu: You have accepted My kingship - I am Hashem, your G-d - now accept My ordinances - you shall not have other gods. . . (Ramban, Devarim 22:2, from Mechilta)

As G-d's people we carry a special obligation. It is not enough that we acknowledge G-d as the all-powerful Master of the universe who liberated our people from Egyptian bondage. We owe a debt of gratitude that can only be discharged by acting on our knowledge. Beneficiaries of G-d's blessings, we must dedicate ourselves to His service to carry out the mission for the sake of which we were made into a nation. Our experience taught us that what the world considers “normalcy” is a smoke-screen, an illusion - that “man does not live by- bread alone, but by the pronouncement of HASHEM” (Devarim 8:3). Because our very being was and is a miraculous gift of God, we must conduct our lives by His word. This obligation is a direct outgrowth of the Exodus; indeed, it was not only to identify Himself to the entire nation but also to establish the authority of His Law that at Mount Sinai God began with the words, “I am HASHEM, your God, who took you out from Egypt.” Many individual commandments, particularly those demanding that we share with others, carry a special reminder of the Exodus when we received everything - existence, freedom, and nationhood - from the hands of God Himself.

However, the acknowledgment of G-d's power and rulership is not only demanded from the Jew. Through the Jewish people - its existence as such, as well as its service of God - the revelation of God is to become the guiding star for all of humanity. That is why the Seder leads up to the prayer for our final and total redemption, the Messianic age when the earth will be full of the knowledge of God (Isaiah 11:10).

 
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