Take a person who was born in slavery and has lived in slavery for years just like his father and grandfather. Let us approach him and offer to fill his greatest wish. What requests can we anticipate? He may ask that his owner should treat him nicely or perhaps he will ask for a new mattress but he will never ask to be freed. He recognizes that he is a slave and that is his very essence. Just as the peasant does not aspire to marry the princess he does not aspire to freedom.

At some point in time during our enslavement HaKadosh baruch Hu inspired us with the desire for freedom. He lifted​ us out of our slave self-image and we recognized that we were worthy of becoming the beloved people of the Creator of the world.

It was at that point in time that we began to cry out for freedom. It was then that we felt the bitterness of being enslaved. The emotional pain that the free man has when becoming enslaved is far greater than the back breaking work that he is subjected​ to.

Let us return to my difficulty with Psalm 81. Perhaps after this year’s Seder we can appreciate that without HaKadosh baruch Hu’s lifting us out from the servitude of Egypt we would have no aspirations to reach for spiritual heights; we would remain with our slave mentality and aspire only for physical accomplishments. We would have no appreciation for the finer achievements of life. Therefore, before presenting us this magnanimous offer, He reminds us that He lifted us out of the physicality of Egyptian culture and we are capable of much higher aspirations.

May HaKadosh baruch Hu inspire us to capture the spirit of our beautiful holiday and look up to those goals that wait for us to accomplish. All we need to do is aspire and ask; HaShem will fill it.

Have a beautiful Yom Tov and a wonderful Shabbos.

Paysach Diskind