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Marriage to G-d

Posted on י״ח בניסן ה׳תש״ע (April 2, 2010) | in Pesach | by

In the Hagadah, we quote the Pasuk in Shemos 12:12– “Viavarti beeretz Mitrayim balaylah hazeh, vihakisi kol bachor beeretz Mitrayim, maadam viad behama, vechol Elok-ay Mitzrayim eeseh shephatim ani Hashem.” “And I passed over Egypt and killed every firstborn in Egypt, from animal to person and to all of the Egyptian G-d’s I did justice, I am Hashem.” The Hagada explains this passage with G-d killing the Egyptians without an angel or a messenger. The obvious question is what do we learn from G-d doing it by himself. The common answer is to explain how G-d himself had to carry the deed to either show power or out of respect to the Egyptians. But I would like to focus on an approach looking at this deed from the Jews perspective. I think this act of doing it by oneself as opposed to a shliach is part in parcel to the sugyah in Kiddushin of it is better to marry a woman by ones self than with a messenger. So now what is the comparison to here? G-d taking us out of Egypt is part of the covenant He made with Avraham Avinu–part of our marriage. The Hagada mentions early on the Bris Bayn Betarim–the Beraishis 15: 13-14, of “Vayomer LeAvram, yadoa tadah ki geir yihyeh zarecha laeretz asher lo lahem, vaavadum viinu osam arbah maos shana. Vigam es hagoy asher yaavodu osam dan anochi, ani Hashem.” “And He sais to Avram, You should know that your seeds will be strangers in a land not of theirs and they shall work, and they will oppress them for 400 years. And the nation that will work them I will judge, I am Hashem.” This here is the beginning of a contract. the taking us out of Egypt is the end of the contract as the Hagadah says Blessed be who keeps his deal to Israel. This here is a marriage between us and G-d. This is the Kesubah that we recieved in the first pasuk of Bamidbar–“Viyadaber Hashem el Moshe bimidbar sinai biohel moed biechad lachodesh hasheini bashanah hasheinis letzaisam meeretz mitrayim lamor.” “G-d said to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai on the first of the second month in the second year from the departure from Egypt.” The Midrash Tanchuma explains that this verse includes a place, time and description. And until here G-d was free to all nations, now he restricted himself to Jews. In fact, the Kesubah needs what is mentioned above, a place, date, and description. This explains why Egypt is mentioned in the verse, and to why Hashem must date it and offer a description. The beginning of our contract was with Abram then we did our part and then G-d liberated us and finished the Kesuba in the Midbar. The Satmer therefore even make a 7 blessings with G-d on Shavuos. But where do we see this marriage in the Seder? The Yerushalmi brings down 3 explanations for the 4 cups we drink. One is a sad story in Yechezkel 24. G-d had 3 daughters whom he married. the first 2 became the worst of prostitutes to Egypt, Assyria, and Iraq. (the second one was worse than the first.) Then G-d gave them 4 cups of poison to drink. The Yerushalmi quotes that as one of the sources of the 4 cups. So this goes to our relationship to G-d is described by marriage as the Hagadah itself quotes “Rav kitzemach hasadeh nasatich, Vatirbi vatgdili, vatovoiii biadi adayim, shadayim nachochu, usaraych tzimach, viat erom vieryah.” “I caused you to thrive like plants in the field and you increased and grew and became very frightful, with perfect breasts and your hair came long, but you became naked and bare.” This here is a paralell story found earlier in Ezeiel (16:6) which describes a girl whom G-d found, raised and clothed. Then she became a prostitute, paid people for sex, her partners turned against her. G-d remembered a contract he gave her and allowed her to return to His protection. We see in the seder and the Hagada G-d’s marriage to us and willing to always take us back. as Shir Hashirim illustrates the challenge for us to take G-d back. Let us all return to him though we have cheated on him. Let us do complete teshuva as we are banished for sinas chinam also expressed by the 4 cups corresponding to to the Sar Hamashkim and Joseph’s exile. Let us have G-d redeem us as Chad Gad Yah concludes–see the Aruch Hashulchan there. And Leshana Habaah Biyrushalayim. Next year let us eat the Pesach offering.

Jesse

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