The Foundation Stone Haggadah: Kadesh 4
The Giving of the Torah is an expression of Chesed Elyon. That’s the chesed that was used to create the world. Remember, the purpose of creation was so God could do good to another. To do good to another is chesed. That was the driving force of Creation. Chesed Elyon is how we relate to God, and why God chose us over any other. That is to say, at the moment of Creation, there was an arbitrary decision that there would be a Jewish people. Because of that initial decision, God chose us. So when we say, “…who chose us from the nations of the world,” we must be conscious that we were chosen not for anything we did on our own, but that God chose us on His own. This is one of the major themes of Pesach. As the Kabbalah states, instead of our reaching out to God, “the awakening is coming from the bottom up.”
On Pesach, God realized that we didn’t have the capacity to initiate the process on our own. All we could do is cry and complain. That’s not a way to begin a relationship. So God gave us the opportunity to do something for ourselves, which was the mitzva of Hachodesh, Sanctifying the New Moon, followed by Pesach, and then Milah, Circumcision. “The awakening was in heaven, and G-d gave us the strength.” Then, we took the next step. When we say in Kadesh, “…who chose us from all the nations,” we are saying that at this point God reached out to us. We have to be conscious of this when we say these words. I assume that this is more true on Pesach (even though the Or Hachaim doesn’t say this with regard to the Haggadah), then on any other time during the year. Pesach is when God sanctified us first without having to do anything first.