Passover: Festival of Freedom.From the teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

“The Egyptians forced the Israelites to do harsh labor.” (Ex. 1:13)Rabbi Elazar asked Rabbi Shimon [bar Yochai], his father, “Why did the blessed Holy One see fit to send the Israelites down to Egypt?”He replied, “Are you asking me one question or two?” [Rabbi Elazar] responded, “I’m asking two questions: Why were they sent into exile, and why down to Egypt?”[Rabbi Shimon] answered: “Actually, the two are connected and become one… The mystical explanation of this is as we have learned, ‘The world was created with Ten Utterances’ (Avot 5:1)These are the ten statements at the beginning of Genesis that begin: “And G-d said, ‘There shall be….’” These correspond to the ten sefirot (Avodat HaKodesh 1:8), which are called “utterances” because they are expressions of the divine will.But if you examine [the matter carefully, you will see] that there are really three with which the world was created – Chochma, Tevuna [an aspect of Bina] and Daat:

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