Friday, April 18, 2008

We Were Slaves - Don't We Know That Already?

"Avadim Hayinu L'Pharaoh B'Mitzrayim..."
"We were slave to Pharoah in Egypt"

An explaination of the above verse was once given over by Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein, author of the Aruch HaShulchan. He explained that the entire idea that can be deduced from yetzias mitzrayim is that we are now obligated to be the servants of hkb"h. This is known from the Torah when it says, "Ki Li Bnei Yisrael Avadim, Avadai Heim Asher Hotzeisi Osam MeiEretz Mitzrayim" "Fore Bnei Yisrael are slaves to me, my slaves who I took out of the land of Egypt."

Almost immediately after reading "Ki Li..." one should realize the apparent redundancy that appears towards the end of the verse when the Torah says "Avadei Heim" - didn't we JUST acknowledge earlier in the verse that we are G-d's servants?

In Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 267:5) the matter of acquiring a servant is described. More specifically the Halacha is that a person may not acquire a servant against the man's will.[The same is mentioned in Yivamos (12b)] This law only applies however, when one is acquiring a person who was previously free. If however, they were previously servants then one may acquire then even against there will.

Therefore when the we were in Mitzrayim we were not allowed to say to Hkb"h that we didn't want to be his servants and that He had no right to acquire us against our will because we were not free men! We were slaves to Pharaoh!

This is what the Pasuk means when it said "Ki Li Bnei Yisrael Avadim". Why? "Avadai Heim" Because Hkb"h took us out of Mitzrayim where we were previously slaves!

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