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Liberating Heaven and Earth

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Spiritual Nourishment

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When Private Affects Public

Reclaiming The Fifth Son

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Tefillin and Egypt

Enjoyment or Achievement?

Levels of Freedom

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Sacrificing Slavery

Schooling During Pesach

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Last Days of Passover

Text of the Passover Haggadah

 Seize the Moment Spiritual Nourishment

Opposite Extremes

11th of Nissan, 5719 [1959]
To my Brethren, Everywhere
G-d bless you!
Sholom u'Brocho [Peace and Blessing]:

Approaching the Feast of Matzos, the Season of Our Liberation, I send my prayerful blessing to my brethren everywhere that the festival instill into the daily life of every Jew and Jewess true and complete liberation from all anxiety and adversity, both material and spiritual, so as to rise to the inner meaning of Yetzias Mitzrayim [the Exodus from Egypt], the prelude to Receiving the Torah, and to fulfill the Divine promise: "When you will bring out the people from Mitzrayim you will serve G-d on this Mount (Sinai)."

Matters connected with Torah and Mitzvos are, of course, infinite and eternal, as G-d Himself Who has ordained them; so are also their instructive teachings, which are valid for all times and places, and can and must be applied in daily life. Even more so in the case of such a comprehensive matter as the Yom Tov [holiday] of Pesach [Passover], of Yetzias Mitzrayim, which we are enjoined to remember every day.

One of the instructive messages of the Yom Tov of Pesach is that a Jew has the inner capacity and actual ability to transform himself, in a short time, from one extreme to the opposite. Our Holy Scriptures and Rabbinic sources describe in detail the bitterness of the enslavement in Egypt and the nadir of spiritual depravity to which the enslaved Jews had sunken in those days.

Enslaved in a country from which even a single slave could not escape; completely in the power of a Pharaoh who bathed in the blood of Jewish children; in utmost destitution; broken in body and spirit by the meanest kind of forced labor - suddenly Pharaoh's power is broken; the entire people is liberated; the erstwhile slaves emerge from bondage as free men, bold and dignified "with an outstretched arm" and "with great wealth."

Likewise is their spiritual liberation in a manner that bespeaks a complete transformation. After having sunk to the 49th degree of unholiness, to the point of pagan idolatry - they suddenly behold G-d revealed in His full Glory, and only a few weeks later they all stand at the foot of Mount Sinai on the highest level of holiness and prophecy, and G-d speaks to each one of them individually, without any intermediary, not even that of Moshe Rabbeinu [Moses], and declares: "I am G-d, thy G-d!"

The lesson is highly instructive:

No matter what the status of the Jew is, individually or collectively; no matter how gloomy the position appears to be in the light of human appraisal, the Jew must remind himself every day of Yetzias Mitzrayim - and strive effectively towards complete liberation and freedom, in a bold manner ("with an outstretched arm") and to the fullest attainment ("with great wealth"): freedom from all shackles and obstacles in escape from his "Mitzrayim," in order to reach the height of "priestly kingdom and holy nationhood," through Receiving the Torah in all respects "as in the days of your liberation from Mitzrayim."

There must be no pause and no hesitation on this road; there must be no resting on one's initial accomplishments; one must go on and on, higher and higher, until one apprehends and experiences the call: "I am G-d, thy G-d!"

This message of Pesach is especially urgent and timely in our present time and age, when Jews as individuals and in groups have bestirred themselves to seek for a way of liberation from their spiritual bondage, and to set foot on the road of true freedom of the spirit; above all to completely free themselves from the fear of "What will the goy [nations] say?"

The "goy" of every description, including the goyeshe prodding of misguided Jews, and the "goy" within one's self, the Yetzer Hora [Evil Inclination]. To these, especially, Pesach calls: Do not stop; go further rise higher, "with an outstretched arm!" Your liberation will then be complete and certain, "with the young and the old, the sons and the daughters," and with great wealth.

With blessing for a kosher and happy Pesach, and may the Prophetic promise, "as in the days of thy liberation from Egypt will I show him wonders," through our righteous Moshiach, be soon fulfilled in our own time.

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