The Psalmist writes in Psalm 81in the name of HaKadosh baruch Hu “I am HaShem that lifted you up from the land of Egypt widen your mouth and I will fill it.” The Talmud explains that this verse refers to our spiritual requests. Behold! HaKadosh baruch Hu is offering us to grant any request that we make of Him in the area of spiritual achievements. I was bothered why HaKadosh baruch Hu introduces His offer by identifying Himself as the One Who lifted us out from Egypt?
After experiencing two Seder nights I have come to a new level of appreciation of the gift HaKadosh baruch Hu granted us with our Exodus from Egypt.
The Torah teaches us that the Egyptians enslaved us “b’forech”. The Sages offer two definitions for this word. The first definition is with a soft tongue. This means that the Egyptians cajoled us into working for them. They praised us with nice words telling us how fortunate we were to commit ourselves to the State and to the welfare of our new country. In a soft way we became enslaved, we accepted upon ourselves the status of being members of the slave class. The second definition of b’forech is back breaking labor.
While these definitions seem miles apart on the surface, they are very closely related. Both definitions imply servitude. The first definition implies the mental state of slavery while the second definition implies the physical state of slavery.
During our initial stage of enslavement we were brainwashed into believing that we were truly slaves. Of course once a person is convinced that he is a slave – he becomes a slave. The implication of being a slave is that he has no aspiration to become a free man.