Each year as we sit down at the seder table we read in the Hagaddah,

“In every generation every person is obliged to see himself as if he came out of Egypt.”

Each year we need to celebrate the Pesach story, to see the hand of God Himself delivering us from our bondage, not just in the past but as an on-going process in our present.

As Pesach approaches, we get busy cleaning our houses of chametz, all possible forms of leaven.


The Zohar, which deals with the reasons for the mitzvot, informs us that the leaven, the chometz is the yetzer hara, the will to receive for ourselves alone, our selfish egoistical love, whereas the matzah is the yetzer ha tov, the will to give unconditionally, the bread of freedom. When we look deeply into this concept , we can see how our egoism really is a bondage. We feel we must have this material good or that emotional set of circumstances to feel good, such that if these circumstances are not met we feel upset or emotionally disturbed in one way of another. This is definitely a bondage, an inner bondage. Equally if we  give but don’t get the appreciation or other reward we feel we are owed, again we are enslaved to our expectations.

Whereas the ability to give unconditionally, without looking to see what, if anything we get for it, is definitely a freedom. This is what the matzah symbolizes; this willingness to extend ourselves without receiving anything back for it at all. But the moment we wish to start doing something like this, even though we can see intellectually that that is the right way, we find our innate will to receive for ourselves alone stepping in and causing havoc. It simply won’t let us do the work of giving unconditionally that will bring us into affinity of form with the Creator. It stops us coming into our freedom. It is the Pharaoh within us, our own inner enslaver, who is holding us in bondage and won’t let us go free.

Like the Children of Israel of old, the only way out is through prayer to the Almighty. Only He can deliver us.

On Seder night, just as we celebrate the freedom of the Children fo Israel from their bondage then so may we celebrate the freedom from our own inner bondage with joy now.

This podcast is dedicated for a perfect healing for Michael Andrew the son of Jennifer.

Taken from the Haggadah Zot LeYedudah with the Be’er Shalom of Rabbi Ashlag

Other podcasts for Pesach

The inner meaning of Seder night, the night of redemption

Who knows One?  From Exile to Redemption

The Four Cups of Wine: Their Inner Meaning

God keeps his promises: A talk for the last days of Pesach


God showed Abraham Isaac and Jacob the multitudes of the Children of Israel coming out of Egypt

He keeps His promise

by yedidah on April 9, 2015


Blessed be He who keeps His promise to Israel. (Haggadah)

Following the redemption of the children of Israel at the Red Sea when they saw the enemies drowned on the shore the Scripture states,

“And Israel saw the great hand which HaShem had wrought in Egypt. And the people had awe of Hashem and they believed in haShem and in Moses his servant.”  Exodus chapter 14.

In a remarkable and wide-ranging discussion, the Zohar makes some observations on this text that are pertinent for us today:

That the power of faith in HaShem can overcome even the mighty power of evil; that the innocent bystander is not in fact considered innocent if he doesn’t speak out in the face of evil, and that ultimately God’s promises to our forefathers are upheld.

In this time when again the words of the Haggadah, ring again with their truth

“And this is true for our forefathers and for us that not one only stood against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise up to annhilate us , but the Holy Blessed One delivers us from their power.”

Our faith which was an essential part of the redemption then, will be an essential part of the complete redemption, may it come soon in our days, Amen.

In this podcast we study the text of the Zohar Beshalach,  paragraph 185 in the Perush HaSulam with grateful thanks to my chevrutas Dr Susan Jackson, Dahlia Orlev, Timna Segal, Leah Weinstein, Ofra Perl, Jodie Lebowitz Davis, and Mia Sherwood with whom I had the privilege of learning this article .


God is my strength and my song….(He is also my friend and my brother)

by yedidah April 25, 2014
Thumbnail image for God is my strength and my song….(He is also my friend and my brother)

“God is my strength and my song; He will be for me a salvation.” This phrase from the scriptures finds unexpectedly beautiful and intimate interpretations given to it by the Sages of the Zohar. Their words spoken and recorded two thousand years ago reverberate for us today, helping us in the here and now. A lesson from the Zohar itself.

Read the full article →

The inner meaning of Seder night, the night of redemption

by yedidah March 7, 2013
Thumbnail image for The inner meaning of Seder night, the night of redemption

Listen to a live class given by Yedidah on the inner meaning of the Seder night using texts from the the Talmud, the Zohar, and the teachings of Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag.

Read the full article →

Who knows One? From exile to redemption

by yedidah February 28, 2013
Thumbnail image for Who knows One? From exile to redemption

The energy of exile and redemption comes around again as we approach Passover. But are we simply re-enacting an historical event? According to the Kabbalah to the extent we can experience an inner exile we can likewise come to an inner redemption. A teaching from the Haggadah of Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag, Vzot l’Yehudah. photo […]

Read the full article →