The Blasphemy in Denying You're a Jew

A Jew blasphemes God when he denies his identity.

Aloh Naaleh,

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Arutz 7
On Pesach, besides celebrating the fact that our ancestors were freed from brutal slavery, we celebrate the birth of the Jewish people. The prophet Yechezkel refers to the exodus from Egypt as the birthday of the Jewish nation, "the day that you were born." (Yechezkel 16:4) Along with our release from the shackles of bondage placed upon us in Egypt, our collective existence was broadened as we gained the new status of Am Yisrael.

It is for this reason that, within the context of the retelling of the story of the exodus, the Hagaddah's Wicked Son is seen as a blasphemer because he separates himself from the nation of Israel: "Since he removed himself from the collective, he has denied God." The Jew who removes himself from the Jewish nation simultaneously removes himself from the Master of the World.

While, in fact, our departure from Egypt marked the beginning of the formation of the Jewish nation, the Maharal of Prague explains (Netiv HaTzedaka, Chapter 6) that true arevut - mutual responsibility of every Jew for every other Jew - was only achieved when we crossed the Jordan River and entered into Eretz Israel. It is only here, in Eretz Israel, that we are able to reach our full potential as an interconnected and unified nation.

"Ata echad, ve'shimcha echad, umi ke'amcha Yisrael goy echad ba'aretz."

Chag Sameach.
Rabbi Ari Waxman is the Mashgiach Ruchani of the Overseas program at Yeshivat Sha'alvim and resides in Nof Ayalon with his wife and six children.

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.