Counting our Blessings

Nissan 14, 5782
April 15, 2022
Candlelighting Time 7:20 PM

            This Friday night we will sit down and recite the Seder reviewing all the miraculous episodes that our predecessors witnessed in Egypt. All the wondrous acts that occurred in those times will be acknowledged and we will be amazed at the power and strength that Hashem displayed at that time. Maharal cites the Talmud that someone leading the congregation was lengthy in stating the praises of Hashem during his public recital of the Shemoneh Esreh. He was corrected by Rav Chanina because he pointed out that if we are to begin enumerating the many praises of Hashem, we will fall short of the mark. And he analogized this to praising a king whose fiscal value is measured in golden coins and using silver currency to define his wealth. Although we are praising the king, but, if we mitigate his prominence, then, of course, this is demeaning to the king. Similarly, when we discuss, and praise Hashem’s many miracles aren’t we somewhat debasing Hashem’s greatness when we mention His many wonders and we can’t fully extol Him?

            Maharal resolves this issue in a very significant manner. When we recount the myriad incredible acts that took place we are essentially admitting and expressing our thanks to Hashem. Expressing our gratitude to others for what they have done for us, is a basic tenet of Judaism and fundamentally, our servitude to Hashem is predicated upon this principle. Therefore, by the Seder when we recount all of the miracles that Hashem performed for us in Egypt, we are revisiting what took place in order to fully appreciate what Hashem has done for us and will continue to do so as well.

            The Talmud also states that when we will merit redemption, the miracles that occur will far outshine the events that transpired in Egypt. Even so, we say in the Hagadah that the wondrous events of Egypt will not be forgotten rather they will be recalled in the context of our future eventual situation of witnessing incredibly supernatural happenings. Why must we always remember the initial occurrences that took place in Egypt?

            Maharal explains that when we left Egypt it was the founding of our nation from our Egyptian bondage where we had previously been totally absorbed and dominated by their culture. Even some of the mitzvos that we had previously inherited fell by the wayside, as an example, circumcision. Nonetheless, we had other merits which promoted our exodus from that bitter exile. Reviewing and focusing on our inauguration and creation as a nation and a people totally dedicated and committed to Hashem energizes and gives us a context within which to celebrate Pesach and serves as a beginning point upon which to build further. If we are to disconnect from that initiation, our legacy and connection to the earlier generations will suffer and we will lack full appreciation of the sacrifices that our predecessors did to bring us to where we are today. Only with this in mind, can we value our present situation and advance further in our service to Hashem when we will witness those future events displaying the sovereignty of Hashem. However, when we combine the experiences that we will merit and assess them as they manifest themselves furthering our rich legacy, then we will have come full circle and our dedication to Hashem will be complete and absolute.   


We are exhorted to reach a level of remembrance by the Seder as though we had ourselves merited the exodus from Egypt. This is possible if we will ascend to a point recognizing our nobility that we inherited from our forefathers who so valiantly struggled throughout the many generations of difficulties. When we recognize and internalize that, we will have reached a plateau of cognizance that gives us the wealth of understanding of whom we are and where we are heading.           MAHARAL