.בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת עַצְמוֹ כְּאִלוּ הוּא יֶָָצֶָא מִמִּצְרַָים
B’chol dor vador chayav adam lirot et atzmo k’ilu hu yatzah mi-mitzrayim.
The Talmud teaches (Pesachim 116b): “In every generation each of us is obligated to view ourselves as if we ourselves came forth out of Egypt,” as it says in the Torah: “And you shall tell your children on that day saying, “This is because of what God did for me when I came forth out of Egypt” (Exodus 13:8). These words from the Mishnah found their way into the Passover Haggadah. These words from the book of Exodus are the highlight of this week’s special Torah portion for the Sabbath which falls on the first day of Passover.
“In every generation each of us is obligated to view ourselves as if we ourselves came forth out of Egypt.” This is the essential message of Passover and in it all the lessons of Passover are intertwined.
If we would truly remember each Passover as if we ourselves came forth out of Egypt…
Then we would remember the pain and shame of slavery and the joy of freedom in our hearts – and we would work urgently for the liberation of all who are still oppressed, just as if we are ourselves were still slaves.
Then we would remember the taste of matzah in our mouths, the poor bread of our wandering, and we would work urgently to feed the hungry in our own day as if we ourselves were the hungry and our own families were the ones who had not enough to eat.
Then we would remember that we ourselves were once strangers in a strange land and we would open our doors and our hearts to welcome the stranger and the immigrant as if we were the refugees who stand at our gates in need of a home and a promised land.
Then the lessons of Passover would live in our lives and we could truly welcome the prophet Elijah to each of our Passover Seders, for we would truly live in a messianic age for us all.