Haggadah-Rabbi Yonatan Eibishutz- They Embittered
The 2nd of Nisan is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Nachman Shmuel Yaakov Meyudesar (1872-1948). Born in Warsaw, he became Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Brok, Poland. While there, he published his sefer Amudei Yehonasan, named after his grandfather, Rav Yehonasan Eibishitz. After thirty years, he realized his dream to move to Eretz Yisrael and became the second Rav of Bnai Brak.
And They Embittered Their Lives… During a scholarly lecture, a simple person asked Rabbi Yonasan Eybeschitz the following: The Torah says, “and they embittered their lives,” but the cantillation symbol that the cantor reads is a happy tune! The simplicity of his question, amused the more erudite listeners.
“Excellent Question!” said Rabbi Yonasan. “Hashem told Abraham that his offspring would be in exile for 400 years. But in fact we were in Egypt for only 210 years. Why was this? Since the Egyptians “embittered their lives,” Hashem had pity on us and shortened the exile by 190 years — surely a cause for song!
“By the way,” said Rabbi Yonason, to the astonishment of his listeners,”the cantillation symbol, “Kadma V’Azla,” hints at this idea by its exact numerical value: 190.