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The Real Haggadah

The Real Haggadah

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Question:

So it's Pesach again. Another Seder night where we meet up with distant relatives we almost forgot about, to tell a story that we aren't allowed to forget about. Is it really necessary more than 3000 years on to still commemorate our ancestors' freedom from slavery in Egypt? Can't we move on to more pressing and contemporary issues?

Answer:

My friend, you are reading the wrong Haggada. The Seder is not just a memorial to events of the distant past - it is a dynamic process of freedom from the challenges of the present.

We are slaves. Slaves to our own inhibitions, fears, habits, cynicism and prejudices. These self-appointed pharaohs are layers of ego that prevent us from expressing our true inner self, from reaching our spiritual potential. Our souls are incarcerated in selfishness, laziness and indifference.

Pesach means "Passover." It is the season of liberation, when we pass over all these obstacles to inner freedom. On Pesach, we give our souls a chance to be expressed.

Reread the Haggada. Every time it says "Egypt" read "limitations." Replace the word "Pharaoh" with "Ego." And read it in the present tense:

"We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt" =

"We are slaves to our egos, stuck in our limitations."

How do we free ourselves? By eating Matza. After eating Matza, the Israelites were able to run out of Egypt and follow G‑d into the desert. Because Matza represents the suspension of ego. Unlike bread, which has body and taste, Matza is flat and tasteless - the bread of surrender.

Usually, we are scared to suspend our egos, because we think that we will lose ourselves. On Pesach we eat the Matza, we suspend our egos and find ourselves - our true selves.

This night is different from all other nights, because on this night we let ourselves go, we liberate our souls to follow G‑d unashamed. We say, "I may not understand what this means, but I have a Jewish soul, and somehow that is the deepest layer of my identity."

That soul is the innocent child within us is waiting to be free. This Pesach, let's allow that child to sing:

Ma Nishtana Halayla Hazeh...

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
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leon roiter barranquilla April 13, 2017

our mind

Pesaj gives us a set of tools to help us free ourselves from our belief system. Our mind makes us believe that our belief system can not be changed to allow ourselves to get free from our ego,our inhibitions,our fears, our habits,our prejudices, from ,all our limitations.
Our mind tries very hard to keep us incarcerated inside our belief system.
Our mind is so powerful that makes us believe that our belief system was made in heavens and cannot be toched.It was given to us.
Our mind makes us believe that we are a body; does not allow to get in touch with our soul which is that energy inside of us which is always connected with Ashem.
Without the help of Ashem the Najshon ben Aminadav who inhabits inside ourselves, would have not touched the waters of the sea of reeds.
Without the help of Ashem we will not be able to free ouselves from our minds.Pesaj teaches us how to free ourselves from the limitations produced by our mind.To go to heavens we must pass through mitzraim. Reply

Len Midland Park March 25, 2015

The English word "Passover" was invented by an English Protestant religious leader who was tortured for trying to translate the Bible from Latin to English.
He wanted any layman who could not read Latin to read it in English and make up his own mind. Part of his translation is found in the King James version which was published about 900 years ago. Reply

Chani Benjaminson, chabad.org April 3, 2008

Haggadah Yes, there is! You can find it here. Reply

Gurwitz April 2, 2008

Is there a haggadah in hebrew on this site? Thank you very much for all of this helpful and informative material! Reply

Anonymous Jerusalem, Israel April 1, 2007

slavery It means exactly what it says. Even centuries ago, it was so traumatic it still resonates today.
Slavery was apparently once widespread, then it became a prize for the winners of wars. It has made a comeback through child labor and traficked women. Reply

Anonymous philadelphia, pa March 23, 2007

passover the true meaning I sit here reading this article, with tears coming down my face. I have so much emotion going on right now, it feels wonderfull. Thanks for the words that you have written. Reply

BL April 6, 2006

Unbelievable!
Than you Rabbi Moss. Reply

Anonymous Scottsdale, AZ March 30, 2006

comment on Rabbi Aron Moss's article I spent all day reading articles on the meaning of passover to read at our seder. All were too long and wordy. This article by Rabbi Aron Moss is what I have been searching for! It is short- only one page, practical and relevant . It encourages us to be better people. Thank you Rabbi for your brilliant insights and article! Reply

Andrew Brooke Toronto, CANADA October 7, 2005

Other forms of slavery We can be slaves to many other things: work, money, food, sex, drugs, technology, TV, computers and other material goods. Despite all the advances in our society, people seem to be working longer and harder than ever! Pesach is a great reminder that we still must struggle to truly be "free". Reply

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