Friday, March 30, 2018


One might note that the Haggadah purposely omits the name of Moshe except only once in passing. Considering that Sipur Yitzias Mitzraim (telling the story of our Exodus from Egypt) is one of the primary Mitzvos of the evening - that might seem surprising. The central figure in the story is practically absent from the narrative.

There is a reason for that, though, which is stated in the text itself: 'And God took us out of Egypt - NOT through an angel; NOT through a Seraph; and Not through an agent... But God Himself in all His Glory.' In other words when telling the story of our Exodus - we want to emphasize God's direct involvement in freeing us from slavery and exiting Egypt. So we do not mention Moshe except once in passing.

There is a passage in Hosea (12:14) that says 'With the prophet (Moshe) who brought us up from Egypt and with the prophet we were guarded'. Does this not contradict the idea of emphasizing God's direct involvement and putting Moshe more directly into the picture? And why does it say 'brought us up out of Egypt' instead of the more precise 'exiting Egypt'?

R' Velvel Soloveitchik answers that there are two different issues here: 'Exiting Egypt' and the journey to enter the land of Israel. When telling the story of the Exodus we emphasize God. But when speaking of the journey up to the land of Israel we speak of God's agent, Moshe. Which is why the book of Hosea uses the expression 'brought us up'. This refers to our journey in the desert up to the land of Israel where Moshe led us. But when dealing with the actual Exodus we use the phrase exiting Egypt.*

With this short Dvar Torah I want to wish all of my readers and those who comment here a Chag Kosher V'Sameach. As always, I include links to past Divrei Torah related to the Haggadah.

*adapted from Torah L'Daas by Rabbi Matis Blum