Section: Galus & Geula   Category: Galus
Parshas Bishalach: Sridei Eish - Lingering In The Midbar And Leaning On Pesach Night

When Hashem took Bnei Yisroel out of Mitzrayim the pasuk says "Vayasev Elokim Es HaAm Derech HaMidbar", Hashem took them the long route through the Midbar (Bishalach 13:18). The Medrash says from this pasuk we see a remez to the mishna in Pesachim the on Seder night even a poor man cannot eat, "Ad SheYeisev", until he reclines. Aside fro mthe play on the word "Yasev" what is the connection between the Midbar and Heseiba on Leil HaSeder?

Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg answers as follows. The Ibn Ezra asks how could a massive nation of 600,000 men be so terrified when the Mitzrim chased them near the Yam Suf? Why didn't they turn around and fight? He answers that they still had the slave mentality and this was their master chasing them. They were still felt intimidated and inferior not even realizing that they had the upper hand.

To eradicate this inferiority complex Hashem needed to make them feel like free men. For this Hashem hid them away from civilization for many years and they spent their time studying Torah. Ein Ben Chorin Ela Mi Sheyaasok BaTorah. One who learns Torah is not subservient or impressed by any human, only Hashem. He adds that the reason all the non-religious Jews are always striving for equality among the non-Jews is because they have no Torah and feel inferior, while Shomrei Torah share no such feelings, no matter their financial hardships or social status throughout the course of the Galus.

Vayaseiv Elokim... Derech HaMidbar. Hahsem took us a roundabout way through the desert to teach us Torah and make us feel free and liberated no matter our plight. With our Torah, says the Medrash, even a poor Jew will lean back like a King on Pesach night and taste the sweet feeling of freedom.