Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ha lachma anya

Ha Lachma anya, this is the poor man’s bread.
Why do we begin the Hagadah with the word ha? I once saw a commentator write that the word is really hey, which means here. This interpretation is based on the verse that states (Bereishis 47:23) hey lachem zera, here is seed for you. This is what Yosef told the Egyptians after informing them that he had acquired the people and their land for Pharaoh. Perhaps the idea is that we are alluding to the fact that initially we were like the Egyptians, who were enslaved to Pharaoh. Ultimately, however, HaShem redeemed us from Pharaoh and slavery.

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