The Fifth, Unasked Question, Of The Passover Haggadah

Why Did God Allow Israel To Be Enslaved?

Rabbi David Fohrman
Rabbi David Fohrman


The Haggadah plays such a large part of the Seder, that sometimes we don't ask the big questions about what the Haggadah is really telling us:

(1) Why do we read the Haggadah, when the backbone of the text is from Deuteronomy, rather than Exodus itself?

(2) Or, why do we celebrate that God took us out of slavery, if He was the one who let us become slaves in the first place?

Regarding the first question, in the Haggadah, the Sages point our focus to a personal telling of the Exodus in Deuteronomy, rather than the actual account of the Exodus story. Does this imply that we should also take a personal perspective when retelling the Exodus on Passover?

Regarding the second question, the Haggadah points to God's promise to Abraham that He would save his descendants – but first the Israel nation would become captive for four generations. Why did God allow the Israelites to become enslaved in the first place? Why not skip the whole 400 years of slavery, and go straight to the happy ending?

In this course, Rabbi Fohrman re-examines the Haggadah text in search for answers, finding a new perspective behind the Haggadah's meaning, and a deeper understanding as to why we have so much to be thankful for during our Passover celebrations.