Gideon's Blog

In direct contravention of my wife's explicit instructions, herewith I inaugurate my first blog. Long may it prosper.

For some reason, I think I have something to say to you. You think you have something to say to me? Email me at: gideonsblogger -at- yahoo -dot- com

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Sunday, March 31, 2002
Good piece from Rav Riskin on Pesach (this link is destined to go cold - sorry; that's the way they have it set up). I wonder if Maimonides reading - and his alternative haggadah text (leharot et atzmo versus lir'ot et atzmo; read the piece if you want to know what I'm talking about) - is the source of the Sephardic custom of acting out the Exodus as part of the seder (e.g. carrying a bag of matzah around the seder table, beating one another with leeks, etc.). As to the point on which he concludes: Rav Soloveitchik takes the opposite view. He points out that the bikkurim text is truncated in the haggadah - that whereas the text from Deuteronomy concludes with the entry into the Land, the haggadah quotation leaves that part out. Why? Because the next stop after the Exodus is the revelation at Sinai, not the entry into the Land. Freedom from slavery was the prerequisite for acceptance of the commandments. Acceptance of the commandments is the prerequisite for the entry into and possession of the Land. Another way to put this would be: our redemption from slavery is an absolute right given by God, which does not depend on our merit; but the completion of the divine promise to our ancestors does depend on our merit.