As we close in on Pesach, I figure it would be appropriate to share a thought on the holiday.
In less than two weeks we'll be drinking 4 cups of wine, corresponding to the 4 expressions of redemption God used when freeing the Jewish people from Egypt.
The Sforno explains that one of the expressions is referring to the Jewish people seeing their "masters" dead outside the Red Sea and their no longer being slaves.
RabbI Henoch Lebowitz asks, why is this the case? Weren't they free when they were taken out of Egypt?. The Sforno seems to be implying that they were not really freed by their exodus.
The answer is that, although they were freed by leaving, they were not yet able to act as free men. They kept the slave mentality until they witnessed the reversal of events and only then did they realize their true situation.
We can apply this to our own lives. We also remain "slaves" to situations, thoughts and feelings, waiting to witness changes. Perhaps the greatest reason for personal failure in any area, especially in our spiritual growth, is lack of true appreciation for who we are. We may think, "I am just an average person, I can't do much", and thereby validate lack of success or growth. We must realize who we really are: we are all royalty, children of God.
This is one of the fundamental ideas the Pesach night can bring home to us. As we "witness" our leaving Egypt, we must internalize that we are special and capable of living a life filled with the privileges and responsibilities of a princely nation.
Have a wonderful Shabbos