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We read in the haggadah, prior to describing Jacob’s decent into Egypt, that earlier Laban wanted to destroy him. Why do we digress from the exodus narrative at this point? Moreover, it seems to diminish from the emphasis on Pharos’s evil? This class covers the paragraphs that begins with the words “Go forth and learn what Laban the Aramean wanted to do” and "And he went down to Egypt”.

Saved from Laban. Persecuted by Pharoah!

Saved from Laban. Persecuted by Pharoah!

The Haggadah in Depth, Part 7

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Saved from Laban. Persecuted by Pharoah!: The Haggadah in Depth, Part 7

We read in the haggadah, prior to describing Jacob’s decent into Egypt, that earlier Laban wanted to destroy him. Why do we digress from the exodus narrative at this point? Moreover, it seems to diminish from the emphasis on Pharos’s evil? This class covers the paragraphs that begins with the words “Go forth and learn what Laban the Aramean wanted to do” and "And he went down to Egypt”.
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Haggadah, Galut

Haggadah Text:

Go forth and learn what Laban the Aramean wanted to do to our father Jacob. Pharaoh had issued a decree against the male children only, but Laban wanted to uproot everyone - as it is said: "The Aramean wished to destroy my father; and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; and he became there a nation - great and mighty and numerous."

"And he went down to Egypt" forced by Divine decree. "And he sojourned there" - this teaches that our father Jacob did not go down to Egypt to settle, but only to live there temporarily. Thus it is said, "They said to Pharaoh, We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks because the hunger is severe in the land of Canaan; and now, please, let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen."

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan is the founder and spiritual leader of Chabad Flamingo in Thornhill, Ontario, he also serves as a Chaplain of the York Regional Police Service.
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