Just as in the days of your going out from Egypt will I
show wonders to them.(Michah 7:15)
In the night of Pesach all that happened in Egypt
renews and bestirs itself; and this itself helps to bring the ultimate redemption. (Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto)
As we finish retracing the road from bondage to freedom we
naturally want to offer praise and homage to God for all that He did for us. We raise our cups to recite Hallel, echoing the songs of praise which the
Jews sang at the Exodus. But can we really do so with all the fibers of our heart? Has the process of redemption that started at the Burning Bush really run its course? Very clearly it has not - and so on Seder night, even as
we rejoice with the dawn of freedom in Egypt, we look ahead to the full unfolding of the ultimate redemption. In fact, we hope and pray with all our heart that our celebration -nay, our reliving of the momentous events of the Exodus - and our renewed dedication to God who revealed Himself then as the source of all freedom, will help reopen the wellsprings of freedom that are meant to flow in this night, bringing about our speedy final deliverance.
There is, thus, a duality about Pesach: the liberation from Egypt and the redemption to come; occurring at the two extremes of our history, they are inextricably linked at this moment in our lives. At the Burning Bush Moses was told by God, I will be He who I shall be
(Shemos 3:14). Our Sages explain this as an assurance that I
will be with them in this time of suffering as I will be with them when they are in bondage to other powers. In the same vein, the Prophet Michah assures the Jewish people that just as in the days of your going out
from Egypt, I will show wonders .... (7:15). This - it has been
suggested - does not tell us that the future redemption will merely be an aftermath of our deliverance from Egypt; rather, that the Exodus must be viewed as the prelude to the Messianic redemption (Rabbi Isaac Hutner).
In the deliverance from Egypt on that Pesach night long ago, lay the seeds of all future salvation: It is for Hashem a night of keeping
watch, to take them out from Egypt - this night remains for Hashem to keep watch for the children of Israel for their generations (Shemos
12:42). It is up to us, through our, our self-dedication to Hashem on
Pesach night, to actualize its potential - to bring about that this dark
night of exile should be turned into day by the light of redemption - as happened in Egypt and as it will, please God, happen again very speedily in our days. Meanwhile, we stand as travelers on the road from the Egyptian deliverance to the glorious goals of the Messianic age.
To this duality of Pesach we give expression through an
unusual procedure: we divide the Hallel into two parts. The first two
psalms, which refer directly to Yetzias Mitzrayim, are recited before
the meal, as the fitting conclusion of the recounting of the Exodus; the remaining psalms, with additional praise to God, are said after the Pesach meal, as we look ahead to the future redemption to come - with
the taste of the Afikoman, symbol of liberation, in our mouths. The
Seder, thus understood, falls logically into two parts: from the
Kiddush to the meal it belongs to the past, from the meal to the end it
looks to the future. The meal itself, encircled - and sanctified - by the two parts of Hallel, may represent our present, linking past and future.