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Introduction

How To Celebrate

The History of Passover

Thoughts & Essays

Letters From The Rebbe

   Passover Message From The Lubavitcher Rebbe

Purim and Pesach

The Birth of a Nation

A Timeless Lesson

At Home and Away

Counting With Miracles

Striving Higher

Changing the Unchangeable

Liberating Heaven and Earth

Changing Winter to Spring

Seize the Moment

Opposite Extremes

Spiritual Nourishment

Guaranteed Protection

When Private Affects Public

Reclaiming The Fifth Son

Absolute Reliance

Tefillin and Egypt

Enjoyment or Achievement?

Levels of Freedom

Components of Freedom

Sacrificing Slavery

Schooling During Pesach

Passover Anecdotes

Passover Stories

Children's Corner

Q & A

Last Days of Passover

Text of the Passover Haggadah

 
 Striving Higher Liberating Heaven and Earth


Changing the Unchangeable

11th of Nisan, 5731 [1971]

...The relation of Passover to the month of Spring has a deep significance:

Passover, the Season of Our Liberation brought about a complete change from abject slavery to complete freedom, from utter darkness to brilliant light. This is also the kind of change which takes place in nature in the spring, when the earth awakens from its winter slumber, and is released from the chains and restraints of the cold winter, to sprout and bloom until the stalks of grain begin to fill up.

Or, taking a detail: When from a seed after it had rotted away, there sprouts a new, living and growing crop. In both cases -- Passover and spring -- the change is not a gradual transition from one level to the next, but an extraordinary change, bearing no relation to the previous stage -- a change that creates a new being.

It has often been emphasized that every detail in Torah (meaning "instruction") conveys instruction and teaching; certainly a matter connected with a festival, and a comprehensive festival such as Passover, in particular.

One general instruction that may be derived from Passover, specifically from the connection of Yetziat Mitzrayim [the Exodus from Egypt] with the month of Spring, which is applicable to each and every Jew in his daily life, is the following: Human life, in general, is divided into two spheres: the personal life of the individual, and his accomplishments and contribution to the world. In both of these there is the spiritual life and the physical life.

The Jew's task is to "liberate" everything in the said spheres "from bondage to freedom," that is to say, to take all things out of their limitations and "elevate" them to spirituality (and more spirituality), until every detail of daily life is made into an instrument of service to G-d.

Even such things which apparently one cannot change -- as, for example, the fact that G-d had created man in a way that he must depend on food and drink, etc. for survival -- he nevertheless has the power to transform the physical necessity into a new and incomparably higher thing: One eats for the purpose of being able to do good, to learn Torah and fulfill mitzvot, thus transforming the food into energy to serve G-d.

Moreover, in the very act of eating one serves G-d, for it gives the person an opportunity to make a bracha [blessing] before eating, and after, and so forth.

We find something akin to the above in regard to the month of Spring: At first glance, there is nothing man can do about it. After all, the laws of nature were established by G-d ever since He created heaven and earth, and subsequently ordained that "so long as the earth exists...[the seasons of] cold and heat, and summer and winter, shall not cease." Nevertheless, a Jew observes and watches for the spring month in order to "make Passover to G-d your G-d."

In other words, in the phenomenon of spring he perceives and discerns G-d's immutable laws in nature. And more penetratingly: That it was in the month of spring -- precisely when nature reveals its greatest powers -- that "G-d your G-d brought you out of Egypt," in a most supernatural way.

In all spheres of one's daily life a person encounters conditions and situations that are "Mitzrayim" -- in the sense of restraints and hindrances -- which tend to inhibit and restrain the Jew from developing in the fullest measure his true Jewish nature, as a Torah- Jew.

The hindrances and limitations are both internal -- inborn traits and acquired habits; as well as external -- the influences of the environment.

A Jew must free himself from these chains and direct his efforts towards serving G-d. If, on reflection, a person finds that spiritually he is still on a very low level, so that he can hardly be expected to make a complete change from slavery to freedom and from darkness to a great light -- there is also in such a case a clear message in the festival of Passover. For, as has been noted, Yetziat Mitzrayim was a change from one extreme to the other: From abject bondage to the most depraved idol worshippers, the Jews were not only liberated from both physical slavery (hard labor) and spiritual slavery (idolatry), but soon afterward -- on the seventh day of Passover -- they were able to declare, "This is my G-d," as if pointing a finger; subsequently, they reached Mount Sinai, heard G-d Himself proclaim, "I am G-d your G-d," and received the whole Torah, the Written as well as the Oral Torah -- an extraordinary transformation from one extreme to the other.

May G-d help every Jew, man and woman, in the midst of all our people Israel, to make full use of the powers which the Creator has given each of them to overcome all difficulties and hindrances -- to achieve a personal exodus from everything that is "mitzrayim," in order to attain true freedom, by attaching oneself to G-d through His Torah and His mitzvot...

Including the mitzva of remembering Yetziat Mitzrayim by day and by night, and from individual redemption to the collective redemption of the Jewish people as a whole, to merit the fulfillment of the prophecy, "As in the days of your liberation from Egypt, I will show you wonders," at the coming of our righteous Moshiach, speedily indeed.

 Striving Higher Liberating Heaven and Earth



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