Why do we call this holiday Pesach? Think about the name for a moment. Pesach means “pass over,” appropriate because G‑d passed over the Jewish homes when he punished Egypt with the plague of the death of the first-born.

Now a name of a holiday should tell you what the holiday is about.

Passover celebrates our freedom from Egyptian bondage. That is the main idea of the holiday. We should call it the Holiday of Redemption or perhaps the Holiday of Freedom.

Passing over the Jewish homes is an important detail, but it’s just a detail. Why do we call the holiday Passover? It’s like calling Nordstrom the shoe store.

In the Haggadah, there is a strange-seeming discussion right after we recount the 10 plagues. Three rabbis debate the extent of the plagues. Rabbi Yosi Hagelili proves that there were actually 60 plagues—10 in Egypt and 50 at the splitting of the sea. He says that in Egypt, it said regarding the plagues, “this is the finger of G‑d,” and at the sea it says “the hand.” Now, if a finger produces 10 plagues, then a hand can make 50, creating a total of 60.

Rabbi Eliezer demonstrates that every plague consisted of four plagues, bringing the total to 240 (60x4=240).

Rabbi Akiva holds that each plague consisted of five plagues bringing the total to 300 (60x5=300).

Seem strange to have this discussion at the Seder? On top of that, what’s the difference how many? The result was the same.

Obviously, there is something deeper happening here.

The question the rabbis were discussing was how great is the feat of the redemption. How deeply were the Jews entrenched in the exile? How assimilated were they to the debased lifestyle of the Egyptians?

Rabbi Yosi Hagelili said they weren’t too deeply entrenched at all in the Egyptian culture, just superficially. Sixty plagues were enough to redeem them.

Rabbi Eliezer said that the Jews were so entrenched that it affected the fourth of the five levels of the soul. Therefore, much more energy was needed to pull us out of the mire of Egypt. Hence they needed the 60 plagues time four.

Rabbi Akiva taught that even the deepest part of the soul, the Yechidah, was affected, and so 300 plagues were needed.

It was an amazing redemption.

The Midrash tells us that the angels refused to take part in the redemption. They said: “What is the difference between the Egyptians and the Jews? They are both acting the same. Why should we redeem them?”

You see there is a system that G‑d put in the world called nature. But even the spiritual words have a nature that the angels follow.

According to that spiritual nature, angels don’t go out and save Egyptian-acting Jews. They are not programmed to do that kind of thing.

Hence comes the inner meaning of Passover: G‑d “passed over” the system He put in place. He removed us from the natural system. We are a miracle. Our existence is a miracle. For this, we are grateful and call the holiday Passover.