When G‑d promised Moses that He would deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt, He did so using four different expressions of deliverance:
{1}"I will bring you out from the suffering of Egypt
{2} and I will save you from enslavement
{3} and I will deliver you
{4}…and I will take you for me as a Nation, and I will be for you, the L-rd
" (Ex. 6:6-7)

Looking deeper, we see that the first three expressions--"I will bring you out," "I will save you," "I will deliver you"--primarily relate to taking the Children of Israel out from a physical subjugation. However, the primary goal of the deliverance from Egypt was to bring them to spiritual freedom through receiving the Torah, as stated by G‑d in His first revelation to Moses at the burning bush, "When you will bring out this Nation, you will worship G‑d on this mountain (Mount Sinai)." This is referred to in the fourth expression: "I will take you, for me, as a Nation, and I will be, for you, the L-rd."

Our nationality is tied together with connection to G‑d.

What we learn from this verse is that our nationality is tied together with connection to G‑d; it is impossible to separate between the two. This is the difference between the Nation of Israel and the other nations. The other nations grew from families into tribes, and then groups of tribes developed into a nation.

This same process of expanding familial closeness applies to territorial proximity as well. Since many families lived in one area, they decided that their combined land would become the territory of their new unified nation. The unifying forces were familial closeness, a single language, and a single territory.

This was not the case with the Nation of Israel. Everything was given to them by Divine command. G‑d said to Abraham, the father of the Nation, "Go out from your land and your birthplace… to the land [that will become Israel] which I will show you." This means that the formation of the Country of Israel was by Divine decree. The force which unifies the Nation is G‑d's commands; it flourishes only when the Nation of Israel is serving G‑d, may He be blessed. Therefore, it is impossible to separate the Nation of Israel and the Land of Israel from G‑d, and from the fulfilling of His Divine Command, the Torah. Therefore, the holy Zohar proclaims, "G‑d, the Torah, and Israel are one."

What is the significance of the spiritual deliverance being phrased by the term, "I will take you?" To understand this, consider the words of our Sages in the Jerusalem Talmud: (Passover, chapter 10) "How do we know to drink [specifically] four cups [of wine at the Passover Seder meal]?

Rabbi Yochanan in the name of Rabbi Binaya says, ‘The four cups correspond to the four expressions of deliverance' [as above]." Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi says, ‘They correspond to the four instances of the phrase 'cup of Pharaoh' [in the dream of the wine-steward and Joseph's interpretation of it]:
{1} "The cup of Pharaoh was in my hand,"
{2} "and I squeezed the grapes into the cup of Pharaoh,"
{3} "and I placed the cup on the palm of the hand of Pharaoh,"
{4} "and place the cup of Pharaoh in his hand
". (Gen. 37:11,13)"

Thus, the four cups of wine that we drink on Passover night as part of the Seder either correspond to the four terms in the promise of deliverance from Egypt, or else they correspond to the four times the word "cup" is mentioned in the wine-steward's dream.

Let us discuss the term, "And I will take." Our Sages of blessed memory state (Tractate on Marriage, page 2b): "Why do we find that marrying a woman is called "taking," as the verse says, ‘When a man takes a woman?’ [The Talmud answers:] Since it is written in the Torah [in Genesis] that G‑d made Adam fall asleep and took part of his side and [from it] made a woman, and called her Woman [in Hebrew, "Isha"] because she was taken from a Man [in Hebrew, "Ish"]. [The Talmud continues:] This is comparable to a person who has lost an object. [Who searches after whom?] The person searches after the lost object [i.e. the lost object does not search for its owner]. Therefore it is the nature of a man to go after a woman. [The man lost part of his side and searches for the woman] and therefore, it is written, "When a man takes a woman [in marriage].

[The Talmud continues] We learn from this that when a person comes to complete a part which is missing from them, we use the term "taking", as our Sages of Blessed memory say, "If a man proposes with the words, ‘You are the one I have taken,’ [instead of the ordained form of, "You are betrothed to me"], this is also considered to be a binding marriage. It is probable to say this is the reason the word to take [in Hebrew, "lakach"] contains the same letters as a part [in Hebrew, "chelek"].

This concept of woman being part of man also applies to the soul.

This concept of woman being part of man also applies to the soul. It is written that the soul in its source was attached to G‑d and indeed it is called "a part of G‑dliness from above" (Job 31:2), until it became distanced from Him and descended to become enclothed in a turbid physical body in this world. So too the Nation of Israel is called a part: "For His Nation is a part of G‑d." (Deut. 32:9) In the subjugation and exile in Egypt, the Children of Israel became distanced from G‑d. They descended to the lowest level and sank into the 49 gates of impurity. Therefore, the fourth term of deliverance mentioned in the verse above is "taking"; i.e. G‑d takes back his lost object, the Divine Soul which dwells within the Children of Israel, and reattaches it to the source from which it was hewn.

This also lets us understand the order of the four cups of wine on the night of the Passover Seder dinner. For it is written in the Zohar, that the four cups correspond to the four letters of the Name Havayah (the Tetragrammaton: yud, hei, vav, hei). The Sages, of blessed memory, divided the cups up so that the first cup should be drunk when saying the Kiddush, the sanctifying blessing of the Holiday, at the beginning of the Seder, for in the Kiddush we say, "[this night is] a remembrance for the Exodus from Egypt." The second cup is after the Hallel prayer (Psalms 113-118), praising G‑d], where it is said, "When Israel came out from Egypt." The third cup is after the Grace after meals. There we also mention, "G‑d our L-rd, you took us out from Egypt, from the house of slavery." The fourth cup corresponds to the Great Hallel [Praise] (Psalm 136). the Great Praise mentions the phrase "For His Kindness is eternal," 26 times corresponding to the 26 generations from the Creation of the world until the receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai (Passover 118a). From this it is understood that the fourth cup corresponds to the deliverance term of "taking", for then G‑d brings back a part of His Soul to the Rock from which it was hewn.

We can now understand the opinion of the Jerusalem Talmud that the four cups correspond to the four cups of the wine steward. The fourth mention of "cup" concerning the wine-steward is, "And you placed the cup of Pharaoh on his hand, as the first judgment when you were his wine steward." Thus, at the fourth, the part returns to its source.

With regard to the word Teshuva [i.e. repentance; lit. return to G‑d] it is written that it can be rephrased as, "Tashuv hei [i.e. return the hei.) This is because the [last] letter hei from the Tetragrammaton represents the Nation of Israel and the letter vav represents G‑d. When the Nation of Israel and the Shechinah are in exile, this hei is separated from G‑d. Therefore, the Sages of Blessed memory, say, "Teshuva [i.e. the return of the hei] is so great, since it brings the deliverance near." This also agrees with what we have explained, that the fourth cup corresponds to the letter hei. When we repent and we return to G‑d, there is a union of all four letters of the Tetragrammaton and this brings the complete deliverance. May it be the will of G‑d that we should soon see these words in their fulfillment and completeness.

Delivered orally; translated by David Devor from his notes and extensively edited by KabbalaOnline.org staff.

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