A Jew who stops to look back will always come forward

Look back to Pesach and ahead to Yom HaAtzmaut.

Phil Chernofsky ,

Israeli flags at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
Israeli flags at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
Flash 90

Pesach has a split personality. On the one hand, it is commemorative and celebratory of Yetzi'at Mitzrayim, which is the birth of the Jewish Nation.

Two main mitzvot confirm this aspect of Pesach - In order to remember the day you came out of Egypt, all the days of your life. And - And you shall tell your child on that day saying, because of this, G-d did for me, when I came out of Egypt.

Most of the Seder and its mitzvot follow this line. Matza - slave's bread, matza - the bread of freedom - both sides of the Exodus. Analysis of the first four p'sukim of the Bikurim-bringer's recitation. Four cups of wine = four terms of redemption. These all speak to the main personality of Pesach.

On the other hand...

There are several times at the Pesach Seder that the topic goes beyond the Exodus and points to the future Geula Sh'leima, the Complete Redemption.

Dayeinu, the popular and much enjoyed poem/song, starts out with several lines related to the Exodus. Then the song takes us through Yam Suf (which, it can be argued, is part of Yetzi'at Mitzrayim). But then we continue into the Midbar, and we get the Shabbat, we get close to Har Sinai, we receive the Torah, go into Eretz Yisrael, and have the Beit HaMikdash.

This is way beyond the Exodus and shows the other personality of Pesach - one that sees Pesach as the first major step in Nationhood. Sees Pesach as the first Geula. But points us the the great Geula that we long for, strive for, work towards.

This was made clear even before we got to Pesach - in the haftara of Shabbat HaGadol.

The bracha of Geula (at the end of Magid, right after the first two parts of Hallel - including B'TZEIT YISRAEL MIMITZRAYIM) starts out thanking G-d for taking us out of Egypt, but soon focuses on the future Geula and the restoration of the Beit HaMikdash.

That's what L'SHANA HABAA BIRUSHALYIM HAB'NUYA is doing at the end of the Hagada.

So let's take a healthy look at Yom HaAtzma'ut and the commemoration and celebration of the establishment of the State of Israel.

Is the State of Israel today the realization of the dreams of the last 2000 years? No.

But it is a very significant step in the right direction. The Rabbinate borrowed the haftara of the 8th day of Pesach (of Chutz LaAretz), which is another pointer in the direction of the Geula Sh'leima, to be read on Yom HaAtzma'ut. This makes a clear statement that Pesach's split personality is manifest in Yom HaAtzma'ut and in the hearts and minds of those who are thrilled to say MO'ADIM L'SIMCHA and thrilled to understand the follow up of LIGULA SH'LEIMA. Pesach teaches us how to thank G-d for His gifts.