The Foundation Stone Haggadah: We Would Still Be Slaves
If G-d had not brought us out would we still be enslaved in Egypt after all the world’s revolutions? And where is Egypt now that it can hold anyone in slavery?
We are used to a world that changes. Governments pass and can be overthrown. But in truth, who would think that you could cause the French revolution, or the Russian revolution? Is it possible we can change America, or the world? The only reason we think it is at all feasible is because we have seen it happen before. Egypt was the first. That experience taught the Jews, and we taught the world, even governments are not absolute, only G-d is G-d.
Who can change the status quo, who would think we could? That is what pharaoh said: ‘who is G-d that I should listen to Him?’ I.e. there are laws of nature and laws of society, ‘G-d can neither change the laws of society anymore than He can change the laws of nature’. The plagues taught that G-d does and can change the rules of nature and of course society — the status quo is not god!
Therefore, you should not think that G-d’s taking us out of Egypt was an event that if not done we would have nevertheless eventually left. But rather the importance of the event is that if G-d had not taken us out we would have never ¯ left. We would never have thought we could leave.
If this is not true, then our thanking G-d for taking us out is not genuine, because we would have eventually left anyway.
But we would have never left. And no people would have left. There would not have been any world revolutions. We taught the world that if you have unity there is nothing you can’t do. Unity of a group and personal unity of your own goals can achieve revolutions.
Personal unity is not that easy to obtain, we sometimes want one thing and at other times want another. We lack consistency, we are scattered and therefore don’t achieve our potential. Egypt has taught us, and the world has shown us, that if we were to attain unity, we would be truly free.