Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Redemption from Egypt and the Future Redemption

The Talmud (שבת ל"א) tells us that when a person passes away and comes before the Heavenly Court, one of the first questions he is asked is, “צפית לישועה” – “Did you await with anticipation the [final] redemption?” This would seem to indicate that there is an actual obligation to do so. The ספר מצות קטן (מצוה א') (R' Yitzchak of Corbeil, 13th century) asks where can such an obligation be found in the Torah?

He answers that anticipating the final redemption is part of the basic mitzvah of אמונה – belief in God – as expressed in the עשרת הדברות (Ten Commandments):
"I am Hashem your God Who took you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery." (Exodus 20:2)

The סמ"ק explains that God is telling us:
כשם שאני רוצה שתאמינו בי שאני הוצאתי אתכם [מארץ מצרים], כך אני רוצה שתאמינו בי שאני ה' אלקיכם ואני עתיד לקבץ אתכם ולהושיעכם.
Just as I want you to believe in Me that I took you out [from the land of Egypt], so I want you to believe in Me that I am Hashem your God and, in the future, I will gather you and save you.
The סמ"ק teaches us that our belief in the coming of the final גאולה is built upon our belief in our first גאולה from Egypt. We find this theme expressed the Hagada many times in statements such as:

השתא הכא, לשנה הבאה בארעה דישראל. השתא עבדי, לשנה הבאה בני חורין.
“This year here, next year in the land of Israel! This year slaves, next year free men!”

לשנה הבאה בירושלים!
“Next year in Jerusalem!”

No comments: