Where is moses

Haggadah Section: Introduction

In the Haggadah, , barring one reference to Moses repeating something that happened, he appears not at all. Why? Are we not leaving out the most important individual in the whole Exodus?

The answer, I think, lies at the very end of the recital of magid , the long account that precedes the eating part of the Seder. We're usually quite hungry by the time we get to this part, which may be the reason why it's often overlooked...

We begin the final part of magid by saying, "...In very generation a person is obligated to see himself as having himself come out of Egyptian bondage." We need to understand that Passover is not about a redemption long ago, but about the fact that redemption is an ongoing endeavor.

Talking about Moses fixes the Exodus as a point in history. But Passover is not about what was--it's about what is, now. Every year, Passover gives us the power to escape personal bondages of habit and inclination. Every year, Passover teaches us that G‑d can help us redeem others from their prisons, both physical emotional and spiritual. And most of all, we believe that G‑d can and will redeem the world--with our participation--from darkness and conflict, and bring about a world where there is no want, conflict or ignorance.

Talking about Moses also fixes the Exodus as an accomplishment of an extraordinary individual. "Moses can accomplish such things," we're tempted to say, "not me. Who am I to aspire to change existence from patterns entrenched for millennia? I know my shortcomings and Moses' incomparable greatness."

Perhaps this is why the Haggadah doesn't talk about Moses. G‑d alone is the redeemer of the Jewish people and all of humanity. Moses was great because he committed himself, totally, to G‑d's agenda. If we, now, commit ourselves in our own totality, every one of us can be the conduit for G‑ds' transformation of existence from the bondage of all that is dark, changing our world into a realm of light.


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