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In many prayers and weekly Torah readings, we thank G-d for taking us out of Egypt. But, since G-d was the one that put us there, why are we thanking Him for taking us out?

I can even make this question a lot more general - G-d knows all and creates all. When things happen it is because G-d made it that way. So, why should we be thanking Him for things that are just... reality?

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    Where do you see that we thank God? Mostly, we remember it and acknowledge his power in doing it, but the term "thanks" doesn't spring to mind.
    – rosends
    Sep 28, 2014 at 0:35
  • Because He took us out of Egypt.
    – Turk Hill
    Mar 22, 2021 at 16:38

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Rabbi Avigdor Miller was once asked a similar question, I heard the tape.

He said: 'Why do we thank Hashem for the food he gives us, when He was the one that created us with the propensity to be hungry? And the answer is because if not for being hungry you would never realize what a gracious gift you received with your wellbeing. If you never became hungry, you would never thank Hashem.'

The same is true with your question. Hashem wanted us to appreciate his saving us. The only way possible was to put us in peril first.

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You're right. We aren't thanking Hashem for taking us out.

Instead, we're thanking Hashem for a few things:

  1. Putting us in Egypt in the first place, purifying us to be on the level to receive the Torah.
  2. Revealing himself to us through the miracles he did to us while taking us out.
  3. Making us his nation, and us becoming his slaves.
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1.) At the "covenant between the parts":

... He said to Abram, “Know well that your offspring shall be strangers in a land not theirs, and they shall be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years;

The Exodus came after 210 years of slavery — so we are grateful that we were saved 190 years. (See Rashi to Beraishis 15:13.)

2.) The Egyptians exceeded the amount of enslavement and oppression that was decreed by Hashem — so we are grateful to be taken out of that. (Source needed.)

3.) The experience of slavery and oppression was necessary for our development as a nation. (Source needed.)

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We thank G-d because He was the one who took us out of Egypt. Additionally, G-d did not put us in Egypt, Joseph's brothers did when they sold him to slavery. The moral of the story is teaching a lesson that acts have consequences. To your last sentence, even if we accept the way things are, we should still thank Hashem because He is the ultimate source because G-d created the laws of nature that made all things the way they are.

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  • Doesn’t Joseph himself say the exact opposite in Genesis 45:8, namely לא אתם שלחתם אתי הנה כי האלהים?
    – Alex
    Mar 23, 2021 at 23:37
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We do so because, if Hashem had not taken us out of Egypt, we and successive generations would still be enslaved there. There was no other way for us to leave Egypt except the way it occurred.

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