Why does the paragraph that introduces the pesach hagada ("This is the bread of affliction") talk about our being slaves now and free next year, in Israel? If it is speaking literally, what location and time period is it talking about? If it is speaking figuratively, in what way are we slaves today and how will we be free in Israel?

  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/9944/759
    – Double AA
    Mar 12, 2015 at 16:51
  • Note that they are two separate statements. Now slaves then free; now here then in Israel. They don't have to be directly related.
    – Double AA
    Mar 12, 2015 at 16:54
  • @double-aa The two phrases can be read together. I think they are meant to be read together, reflecting their parallel construction. ("This year, here; next year in the land of Israel. This year, slaves; next year, free people.")
    – Yehuda W
    Mar 12, 2015 at 16:59
  • Maybe. [15char]
    – Double AA
    Mar 12, 2015 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


Perhaps in the same way that the Jews were enslaved to values and views of the Egyptian society, we too are enslaved to our society. The בני ישראל had adopted the philosophical views, the ethical norms, the attitudes and beliefs in idolatrous practices. They were enslaved mind and body. Although we are not enslaved physically, we are in some regards enslaved to the values, beliefs and ideas of our society. The views of our society impact us. They are at times the lenses we look at life through. True freedom will occur when we can use our minds to truly see the truth and values and beliefs as outlined by Hashem. That we live in a society completely governed by these principles of truth as taught by Hashem. This will be when we are truly בני חורין.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .