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Pesach is called by several names, including “zman cheiruseinu – the season of our freedom.” Simply understood, “our” refers to the Jewish people. It’s not only my freedom and your freedom, but our freedom – the freedom of all Jews.

But in Likkutei Torah (Shemini Atzeres), the Alter Rebbe analyzes a similar phrase used in connection with Sukkos, “zman simchaseinu – the season of our rejoicing,” and explains that “our,” in addition to its plain meaning, includes Almighty G-d. He too rejoices with us. By the same token, says the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the phrase “our freedom” also has a double meaning. We are celebrating the freedom of every single Jew and also the freedom of Almighty G-d.


One may ask, though: Who, exactly, can provide G-d with freedom?

In the liturgy of Hoshaanos on Sukkos, we find words that describe G-d being saved: “As You saved a nation and its G-d.” The words “Vehotzeisi Eschem” in Shemos 6:6 can also be read as “Vehutzeisi it’chem – I will be brought out with you,” which aligns with Devarim 30:3, which describes the future redemption of the Jewish people: “Veshov Hashem es shvuscho.” These words are usually translated as “G-d will bring back your exiles,” but Rashi points out that “veshov” literally means “He will return” and explains:

“The Shechinah is [so to speak] together with the Jewish people when they are in exile, and when they’re redeemed, Almighty G-d has dictated a redemption for Himself as well. He will come out of exile with them.”

So now we understand the phrase “zman cheruseinu – the season of our freedom.” Pesach marks the redemption of both the Jewish people and Almighty G-d.

Who frees G-d? G-d Himself. Just as He came out of the Egyptian exile with us, He will come out with us from this current exile. Thus, in taking us out of exile, He not only redeems us, but redeems Himself, so to speak.

All the above emphasizes the point that Hashem, as a merciful father, agonizes with the Jewish people betzoras golusom, in the grief of their exile, and is waiting for the moment of our freedom. May that moment occur very soon, even before Pesach!


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Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman is director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. He can be reached at