Passover: A Holiday of Generations, by Rabbi Jonathan Sigal

passover children seder1

Imagine viewing the most dramatic event in History. Something truly Epic and then just because you are there to witness it you become incorporated and part and parcel of the story itself. Perhaps even the central hero of the story. Well Surprise, you actually are!  Let me explain. The Hagadah brings the argument between R Eliezer Ben Ezariah and the Sages of how to understand the Verse “you shall remember (mention) the leaving of Egypt “all” the Days of your life. They are arguing about the meaning of the word “all” does it mean the “whole” or “every” If it means “Whole” then we need mention our leaving Egypt every morning and evening. If it means “every” then we mention it once a day but every day even in the future times of Mashiach. 

The Rabbis opinion is that the Mitzvah of mentioning the exodus from Egypt will apply even after the redemption of Israel from the four exiles into the messianic era. Their words: “all” comes to include (Lehavi literally to bring) the days of the Messiah” 

The Sefas Emes explains that chazal are actually hinting to a deeper Idea in their words here. They teaching us that by mentioning the exodus or telling over the story like we do every year in great detail at the Seder we are actually bringing the Meshiach!  By telling the story to our children and “viewing ourselves as if we went out of Egypt” we are actually complete the exodus! So by carefully observing the story we become the heroes of the story. This is actually the deeper meaning of the verse 

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה בֹּ֖א אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה כִּֽי־אֲנִ֞י הִכְבַּ֤דְתִּי אֶת־לִבּוֹ֙ וְאֶת־לֵ֣ב עֲבָדָ֔יו לְמַ֗עַן שִׁתִ֛י אֹתֹתַ֥י אֵ֖לֶּה בְּקִרְבּֽוֹ׃ 

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh. For I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, in order that I may display My signs among them, 

וּלְמַ֡עַן תְּסַפֵּר֩ בְּאָזְנֵ֨י בִנְךָ֜ וּבֶן־בִּנְךָ֗ אֵ֣ת אֲשֶׁ֤ר הִתְעַלַּ֙לְתִּי֙ בְּמִצְרַ֔יִם וְאֶת־אֹתֹתַ֖י אֲשֶׁר־שַׂ֣מְתִּי בָ֑ם וִֽידַעְתֶּ֖ם כִּי־אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֽה׃ 

and that you may recount the story in the ears of your sons and of your sons’ sons how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I displayed My signs among them—in order that you may know that I am the LORD.”

In other words, Hashem tells Moses he is taking the Jewish people out of Egypt on condition and for the sake that they will tell the story over to their children. Relive it with them. That is extremely significant, because it means we were taken out then with all those epic signs and wonders only on condition and in the merit that we will complete the exodus by telling it over, by seeing ourselves as leaving and reliving the story with our children generation after generation. We are confirming history retroactively when we do so and if we fail to do so we are bringing ourselves back under the subjugation of Egypt. Challilah. This is the true meaning of the word Hagadah literally to tell but also from the language Gud Assik (a halachic term) means to pull and continue.

The process of exodus only started with our leaving Egypt but it was not completed. We must continue the process day by day year after year. Only on condition so were we redeemed then. Perhaps this is why we end the Seder with a song called Chad Gadyah. Also the same root word Gad. It is a song that alludes to our long history but it is saying it is all one big “Gad” pulling, one continued story that eventually will bring Mashiach quickly in our day!



Rabbi Jonathan Sigal Grew up in Atlanta, GA and attended Yeshiva Highschool there. He later attended Yeshiva Ohr Sameach (Rabbi Ahron Feldman Shalita), Yeshivas Ofikim (Rabbi Chaim Kamil zt“l) , Yeshivas Heichal Hatorah (Rav Tzvi Kushlevski Shalita) Learned in various Kollelim he followed his Rabbi Yaakov Schatz Shalit”a to Amsterdam who served as Rosh Kollel there. Rabbi Sigal Served Two years as Rosh Kollel after his Rebbe returned to Israel. He currently studies Jewish law in the Amsterdam Kollel, does communal work teaching Torah, doing kiruv work, working for the Shachita, assisting the Jewish Burial Society. Rabbi Sigal can be contacted at

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