Originally Written in 2009 -
As I jot down these notes, today is 5 Iyyar, the anniversary of the modern State of Israel
In God's original 5-part liberation plan, v'heiveiti and I will bring them TO THE LAND was the fifth culminating step in our total redemption. We pray that speedily we drink that proverbial 5th cup next seder!
Meanwhile Review Question: What were the first 4 steps? Three are virtually synonymous expressions of rescue (hatzalah)
The 4th is our focus today. V'lakachti eschem li l'am. I will take (or acquire) ye as a nation (Or people)…
Did this happen at the Exodus? Not really, it actually occurred at maamad har sinai! That is when "asher bachar banu.. V'nattan lanu et torato.." Occurred. Furthermore, this is musically reflected in the Qiddush of EVERY yom tov! The motif for that qiddush is the melody for Akdamut and it highlights: "asher bachar banu mikkol am" which is a Shavuot theme even when recited on other Yomim Tovim!
So Shavuot is the culmination of our g'ulah. And this is because we were really celebrating the Exodus only ONE full day. As Sefer Hachinuch notes, on the 2nd day we counted with the expectation of Mattan Torah on Shavuot. Only for the briefest moment were we escaping FROM. For the next 50 our escape was TOWARDS Torah and the fulfillment of V'lakachti.
This Freedom to, Freedom for a purpose is key. So many Jews who escaped Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries to come to America to become full Jews in the open.
Sadly, when Jews fled Europe at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries it was not just to escape the Czar but to escape FROM Judaism. Only an idealistic handful realized how much American religious freedom could enable Jews to find FREEDOM TOWARDS Torah.
Despite our tragic losses, this remains our goal and focus. To escape tyranny on behalf of a vision not just of Liberty, but of Divine Service. We will be God's People.
Hag Kosher v'Samei'ach