Yirmiyahu Sixteen: Changing the model

Throughout Tanakh, and continuing through Jewish history in general, a constant trope is that God brought the Jewish people out of bondage in Egypt. This statement is used as the driving concept behind the need for continued loyalty to God, the reminder of why the covenant exists, and and refrain each time the people either succeed, or screw up. But now that the exile is coming, it’s an event so momentous that it requires a whole new set of cues.

“Therefore, behold days are coming, says the Lord, and it shall no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ But, ‘As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel from the northland and from all the lands where He had driven them,’ and I will restore them to their land that I gave to their forefathers (Jeremiah 16:14-15).”

The eventual exile, and then restoration to the land, is so pivotal in the development of the Jewish people throughout history, that it will completely alter the way that the people relate to God. I’m wondering if that’s really true though. When we pray, and particularly at the Passover seder, which is the core of our tradition in my mind, it’s the Egypt model that we use, not the restoration. Is that because we aren’t back in Israel in a messianic sense? Or because even though it’s written here in Tanakh, we don’t relate to God in this way yet?

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