In parshat Beshalach we read, "The king of Egypt was told that the nation [of Israel] has fled."1 Rashi2 explains that Pharaoh sent officers along with the Jewish people when they left Egypt because they said that they were going for three days. When they continued on after the third day, the officers returned to Pharaoh and reported that "the nation has fled."

During the plague of the death of the firstborn, Egypt was willing to do anything to have the Jewish people leave. Why didn't they just say that they are leaving for good? What was the point of keeping up the pretense of leaving for just three days? And what is the deeper meaning of the Jewish people fleeing from Egypt?3

This is all with regards to the Exodus from Egypt. However, when Moshiach comes, we will not flee, as it says, "You will not go in haste."4

To understand this, let us look at a Pesach law.

Rich Bread, Poor Bread

At the Seder, in order to fulfill our obligation of eating matzah, we must have lechem oni5 (“bread of affliction”), made with just two ingredients, flour and water.

However, there is another kind of matzah, called matzah ashirah (“rich matzah”), which is made with wine, oil, honey or other fruit juices, so that it has a good taste (as long as it doesn't have any water mixed into the dough, it will never become chametz, but if any amount of water is added to the mix, it will rapidly become chametz, quicker than flour and water alone). One cannot fulfill the mitzvah to eat matzah with matzah ashirah.

This is because, when it comes to the mitzvah of eating matzah for all generations, the verse says, "You shall not eat [the Pesach offering] with chametz; seven days you must eat matzah, lechem oni [“bread of affliction”], because you went out of Egypt hastily."6 Since Scripture refers to "lechem oni," we know that it can't be matzah ashirah, and because it says, "You shall not eat [the Pesach offering] with chametz," we know that it has to be theoretically able to become chametz.7 In other words, it has to have water in the mix, which necessitates that we be careful that it doesn't become chametz.

The reason that the verse gives for both criteria (that it has to be able to become chametz and that it has to be lechem oni), is "because you went out of Egypt hastily." This is linked to the flight of Egypt that was reported to Pharaoh: "the nation [of Israel] has fled."

This is all with regards to the Exodus from Egypt. However, when Moshiach comes, we will not flee,This is all with regards to the Pesach of later generations, but by the first Pesach Seder, before leaving Egypt, there was the possibility of having matzah ashirah,8 because it doesn't say "lechem oni," but only that the matzah had to be able to become chametz, as it says, "and you should guard the matzahs,"9 implying that they needed to take heed that it not become chametz. However, in fact, at the actual time of the Exodus, they only had lechem oni.

What is the symbolism of matzah ashirah and lechem oni?

Lechem oni doesn't have much flavor. It is symbolic of serving G‑d by accepting His service as a burden and a yoke. This is done through hard work and effort, submitting yourself to His will, even though you may not be there spiritually.

Matzah ashirah, on the other hand, has flavor, symbolizing serving G‑d through understanding. You enjoy what you are doing because, through your understanding, you have become in sync with His will, until it becomes your own.

When Flight Is Right

When leaving Egypt they had to flee, because "The bad in the lives of [the people of] Israel was still prevalent."10 They were not yet in sync with G‑d’s will. That would only happen later, after much work, through the Giving of the Torah. This is true about our lives now as well. Whenever we are in a negative spiritual phase, an Egypt of our own, we must force ourselves to do what is right, fleeing from the negative. Only later will we be able to become in sync with G‑d.

When Moshiach comes, we will be in perfect sync with G‑d's will, so we won't have to go in haste or flee.

Yet we see an interesting thing. The verse that tells us that we eat matzah in all generations "in order that you will remember the day that you left Egypt all the days of your life."11 In the Haggadah we read that this includes the days of Moshiach. Why will we have to remember the Exodus when Moshiach comes? If we will be in sync with Gd’s will, what kind of Egypt will we have to break free from?

The answer is, none. But there will be one aspect of the Exodus from Egypt that we should continue to relate to, accepting G‑d's yoke, that we should put effort into our service.

This goes both ways. Just as there is an element of the Egyptian flight in Moshiach, so is there an element of the Messianic redemption within our leaving Egypt.

In telling that He will take our ancestors from Egypt, G‑d promises, "And raise shall I raise you."12 Why does it say "raise" twice? The first is the Exodus from Egypt, and the second is the coming of Moshiach. Even at the time of the Exodus,13 there was also an aspect of Moshiach, that our hard work would eventually lead to becoming in sync with G‑d.14

This is also why after the Splitting of the Sea (the conclusion of the Exodus from Egypt), in the Song of the Sea, there are allusions to the coming of Moshiach.

Lying here in my bed, unable to move or speak, unable to hug or kiss my precious children, I am in a physical EgyptLying here in my bed, unable to move or speak, unable to hug or kiss my precious children, I am in a physical Egypt. However, I know in my heart that G‑d has put me here for a reason, to uplift people through my writings, my heart, and my smile. That is why I work so hard writing these messages with my eyes.

I know that eventually I will go out of my Egypt, and be able to teach Torah with my mouth, and write these teachings with my hand. I will be able to do father and husband things for my wife and children. Either by cure, by miracle, or with the coming of Moshiach—I know it is going to happen.

May we break free from our personal Egypts—whether they be a physical, spiritual, emotional or psychological—and become in sync with G‑d. Our personal redemption will lead to the ultimate redemption, the coming of Moshiach. May he come soon.