The Foundation Stone Haggadah: Ha Lachma Anya 10: An Environment of Freedom
Now we are here, next year we should be in the land of Israel; This year we are slaves, next year — free men.
There is an interesting problem to this third sentence of the Haggadah. The order seems opposite to the order of implementation. Shouldn’t it have said: “This year we are slaves, next year — free men. Now we are here, next year we should be in the land of Israel.”? The sentence should first deal with being free instead of slaves, then take care of moving to Israel. First one becomes able, then he acts. First one becomes rich, then he retires!
It would seem that the Haggadah is pointing out to us that there are two stages in freedom. The first stage, strangely enough, is living in Israel.
When the Haggadah refers to Israel, it is not just the physical location of the land, but it is all that Judaism tells us the land represents — an environment of personal freedom. The Haggadah is telling us that to be truly free, the place we are living has to have an ‘atmosphere’ of freedom.