10.04.2011 06.Nisan, 5771
The Exodus serves as a foundation to how we should treat others.
The tremendous effort required to observe a kosher Pessah occupies us so completely now that we may be in danger of forgetting why we observe it at all. The Torah is very specific in telling us the reason: “It is because of what the Lord did for me when I went free from Egypt” (Exodus 13:8). The Exodus from Egypt, going from slavery to freedom, is the very foundation of our existence as a people.
The religion of Israel is inconceivable without it. It matters not whether the story as told in the Torah is an exact record of the events or an elaboration on them. What happened to us there changed our understanding of how to treat other human beings. Time and time again when discussing mitzvot concerning social justice, one reason alone is cited: the experience of the Exodus – being a stranger, enslavement and redemption from slavery.