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Haftarah: Machar Chodesh: Beyond By on


The Foundation Stone Haggadah: Why Did God Free Us?


We speak of two reasons why God freed us. In one place we read that God freed us because He heard our cries, had mercy, and He loved us. It broke His heart, so He needed to take us out. A few paragraphs later, we read that God took us out because He made a promise. He had to take us out. Which is it? If He made a promise, He didn’t need to hear our cries. If He heard our cries, He didn’t need to make a promise. ‘Promise’ implies that it is fixed. Crying out and responding implies that it was a choice.

What does this suggest? It’s not just we who must deal with the contradiction of making choices. Who else is dealing with this? – God! It’s unbelievable! In other words, God’s own experience of dealing with humanity is that there are certain basic commitments that He has to follow. In His interaction with the world, there is a certain structure, but His relationship with humanity is not based on commitment, but on the structure that He sets for Himself. God says, “I want to respond to you and I want you to know that I care for you.” Yes, there could be structure to how God wants the world to develop, and how God wants these circumstances to work themselves out. The fact is just as God says, “I’m going to work despite the structure,” we have to say in our free choice that our choices function within the structure. The choices are still real.

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