Schedule Rabbi & President's Messages
The maggid section of the Haggadah begins with
the famous declaration that we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.
“Abadim hayinu le-Faroh be-Misraim.” Curiously, the Haggadah
does not say that we were Pharaoh’s slaves (“abdei Faroh”); rather,
it tells that we were slaves to Pharaoh. Is there a
Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik suggests that there is an enormous
difference between the two terms. B’nei Yisrael were slaves to
Pharaoh but never became Pharaoh’s slaves. As slaves to
Pharaoh, they were mistreated, abused and fed poorly. They
worked under excruciating and torturous conditions. They had
no choice. B’nei Yisrael lost their legal status as free
people and, as such, lost the freedom to choose when and how they
But they never became Pharaoh’s slaves. They never lost their
spiritual and moral independence from their tormentors. As a
people, they continued to assert their own individuality and
maintained their belief system and faith in the Almighty. They
never viewed Pharaoh as their master. Only G-d could be their
master because they consistently saw themselves as G-d’s servants (abdei
Hashem), and never as Pharaoh’s servants.
Our mission on Passover, as it is on every day of the year, is to
enhance our roles as G-d’s servants.
Hag sameah. Tizku le-shanim rabbot.
Every Passover we look forward to spring, to a beautiful Seder, and
to solidifying our promise of next year in Jerusalem. Passover
is a magical time, when thinking about the past actually leads to
thinking about the future.
As we gather to retell the story of the Exodus through the Haggadah,
it is my hope that our observances this year help us each renew our
sense of who we are and celebrate our freedom.
I, along with my family, want to wish you and your families, a Chag