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


Nile crocodile waiting for its prey:  Kabbalah:likens it to Pharaoh

Dealing with Pharaoh

by yedidah on January 20, 2016


“In every generation, a person is obliged to see himself or herself, as if he or she is coming out of Egypt.” Passover Haggadah

Rabbi Ashlag considers a person as a whole world in himself .Therefore, everything that is in the world is also represented within each and every one of us. It is in this spirit that he teaches the inner meanings of the stories of the Torah.

Over these last few weeks we’ve been reading in the Torah the story of the exile and redemption of the Children of Israel in Egypt. So our question is, how do we see this redemption of the children of Israel from the suffering and slavery at the hands of the Egyptians, as processes that also take place within ourselves?

How does the element of Pharaoh manifest within us?  The prophet Ezekiel ( Chap.29) calls  Pharaoh, “The crocodile that lurks in the Nile.”  Like the crocodile the cruel enslaver of the Children of Israel is a hard core of our selfish love that  wants to swallow and devour, not only the  material light that God gives to us, but also any spiritual light that comes our way. He is the ultimate inner hijacker.

How did the Children of Israel fall into his trap then, and how do we get out of his trap now?

The merit of this Torah teaching  in this  podcast is dedicated to Michael Andrew, the son of Jennifer.  May he be blessed with a  Refuah Shlemah, a perfect healing.

Picture credit: “Crocodylus niloticus in Lake Chamo 02” by Bernard Gagnon


Called to Prayer

by yedidah January 3, 2016
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Prayer is our connection with our Source. Yet there are many sad and broken people in the world who yet do not call out to the Divine for help. Rabbi Ashlag teaches us that the very turning to God constitutes a Divine call to us. Zohar

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He keeps His promise

by yedidah April 9, 2015
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Blessed be He who keeps His promise to Israel.
This saying in the Haggadah gets greater force when we learn a remarkable article in the Zohar, in which we learn how faith played a crucial part in the redemption and that God, kept His promise to the froefathers, Abraham Isaac and Jacob to the letter. This is a promise we rely on even today.

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Inner slavery / inner redemption

by yedidah January 25, 2015
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Rabbi Ashlag teaches that all the events of the Torah are not simply historical events but a record of the revelation of God within us. Thus in our psyche we find all the elements of the story of the Exodus, including the inner Pharaoh. How does this inner pharaoh manifest, and what is going to help us get free?

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Our inner exile and redemption: A class for Pesach

by yedidah April 6, 2014
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“Every person needs to see him/herself as if he or she came out of Egypt.” In these words the Haggadah tells us that we all suffer from the Exile and yearn for the redemption. In this talk Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag teaches us that Pharaoh is not just the historical figure but an aspect of ourselves. How do we deal with the inner Pharaoh?

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