When we probe the nature of our historical existence, we arrive at a very important insight, one that constitutes a fundamental element of our worldview. The Torah relates that God made two covenants with the Israelites. The first covenant He made in Egypt: “And I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God” (Exodus 6:7); the second covenant, at Mount Sinai: “And he took the book of the covenant . . . and said: ‘Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you in agreement with all these words’” (Exodus 24:7-8). (The third covenant, “These are the words of the covenant . . . beside the covenant which He made with them in Horeb” [Deuteronomy 28:69), is identical in content and goals with the covenant at Sinai.) What is the nature of these two covenants? It seems to me that this question is implicitly answered at the beginning of our essay. For just as Judaism distinguishes between fate and destiny in the personal-individual realm, so it differentiates between these two ideas in the sphere of our national historical existence. The individual is tied to his people both with the chains of fate and with the bonds of destiny. In the light of this premise, it may be stated that the covenant in Egypt was a covenant of fate, while the covenant at Sinai was a covenant of destiny.
Joseph Dov Soloveitchik, Fate and Destiny: From Holocaust to the State of Israel, trans. Lawrence Kaplan (Hoboken, NJ, Ktav Publishing House, 1992 & 2000), 42.