As we left Mitzrayim, you would have known that taste of freedom, of which we had been deprived for hundreds of years. Four-fifths would not leave and, confused by the yetzer hara, those that did leave, would not accept that freedom was to serve G-d as One.
At Sinai, you would have known the Torah was True. At its foot, confused by the yetzer hara, worshipped the Golden Calf and most would forfeit entry into the Land.
Under Joshua, you would have known G-d was with you. But, almost immediately thereafter, confused by the yetzer hara, most would turn their backs on Torah values.
In David’s Jerusalem, you would have known the taste of a unified nation with our enemies subdued. Yet, confused by the yetzer hara, some would cast their lot with Avshalom and the naysayers.
In Solomon’s reign, you would have been grateful and in awe of the Temple and the Shechinah. In the blink of an eye, confused by the yetzer hara, the kingdom would be split and the seeds of Exile sown.
In Shushan, you would have known that your faith and trust in Hashem could overcome your most committed destroyer. But, confused by the yetzer hara, only 40,000 would return to re-settle and rebuild the Temple.
During the Second Temple period, you would have known wave after wave of empires come and go while you survived, even when dispersed or militarily defeated. Yet, confused by the yetzer hara, the sinas chinam that infected klal Yisroel eroded any potential for Unity.
During the Dark Ages and through the Enlightenment, you would have known the flourishing of Torah wisdom from one giant to another and another. So many of our wanderings, confused by the yetzer hara, were a relentless pursuit of acceptance and dilution of Torah values.
During the Age of Nationalism & into the 20th Century, the birth pangs of countries, you would have known a score of hosts where you were welcome temporarily, but reminded that you only had one home, Israel. But, despite the oppression and successive exiles, so many, confused by the yetzer hara, rejected the mission of being a Light unto the Nations, and chose instead a futile drive toward assimilation.
During WWII, while the struggle against Hitler was militarily fought, you would have known who we were as Jews (however we may have tried to hide it) marked us for extermination. Yet, confused by the yetzer hara, most did not absorb the message and seize the opportunity to unify, and re-dedicate ourselves to our Biblical identities and Life’s missions.
From the ashes, you would have known the birth of the State of Israel, where you could return to Zion, our homeland, encircled by wolves, protected by G-d. Yet, confused by the yetzer hara, so many of us in the Diaspora blindly embraced liberal movements, even when they were anti-Israel.
As the 21st Century unfolded, you would have known Torah learning flourish and outreach bringing so many of us back to our roots. At the same time, confused by our yetzer hara, so many of us supported blindly political affiliations and so-called humanitarian causes that were blatantly anti-Semitic and dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and more tragically, polarized our own People to a degree not seen before.
As the world celebrates an Iran deal and America refuses to name its relentless enemy, we know that no peace may be achieved without recognition of our right to exist with Jerusalem as our capitol and with the assurance of security. Sadly, confused by the yetzer hara, too many of us do not see the plain truths confronting our very survival, even as we are on the Eve of Pesach, when we were freed of the bonds of slavery – both physical and spiritual.
MAY THIS PESACH AWAKEN OUR SOULS SO THAT WE KNOW THAT OUR VERY EXISTENCE DEPENDS ON OUR UNITY AS JEWS AND THAT FREEDOM IS ONENESS OF SERVING OUR ONE G-D, WHO TOOK US OUT OF EGYPT AND BROUGHT US TO SINAI AND INTO THE LAND OF ISRAEL.