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The Foundation Stone Haggadah: Promises: Beyond the Pain

Keeps His Promise: As with the previous paragraph, this one too seems to be of very little advantage and great suffering to us, the Jewish people. Slavery does not seem worth the wealth we attained at the end. And why are we blessing G-d on such a thing — that G-d keeps His promises and afflicts us?

This idea can be explained in a parable. A king had a single son who was very precious to him. One day the king and son had a terrible argument. The son stormed out of the palace vowing never to speak to his father again. For many many years, the king mourned the loss of his son. He searched his vast country for him, but he was nowhere to be found. “Surely,” the king thought “my only son is hiding from me”.

One day, the king was travelling to a distant part of his empire. On the way he stopped at a lake where he saw a young man on a small fishing boat, with his back to the king. Soon a fish started to pull on his line, it was a large fish and pulled hard. The man lost his balance and fell into the lake, he caught his foot in some reeds and began to drown. He cried for help and the king rushed out to the man. As he approached he could see that it was his son and vigorously swam to him. He pulled his son out of the lake and began reviving him.

The young man was in a daze and did not realize who had saved him. As he began to come round he started to profusely thank and praise his saviour. He promised him he would be eternally grateful, that he would forever be his loyal servant, and whatever the king so desired he would do for him.

Forever more the king and son remembered how the son nearly drowned and how he was saved by his father. It was one of their treasured memories that was inscribed in the country’s history and which the son constantly talked about and passed down to his children.

It is through the whole Egypt account, it’s suffering and joy, that we became G-d’s people. Other events may have been more spectacular, and more pleasant, but this is the event, without which, no Jewish people would have been formed. Because of it, the Jewish people and G-d became welded together.

It could very well be, that we learn from this that an essential idea in freedom is being able to see beyond any present pain, suffering or even pleasures, and look to the long term results to guide our lives.

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