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I Can't Take It Anymore

Rabbi Moshe Lieber

Parshat Vaera

Oct 21, 2009

When Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu that He would redeem the Jews He says “And I shall take you out from under the burdens of Egypt” (Shemos 6:6).What exactly does this mean?

An amazing reinterpretation of the Mei HaShiloach sheds light on this. The Midrash teaches that no slave was able to escape Egypt. Simply this seems to portray a concentration camp scenario in which sentries and barbed wire fences make escape impossible. Mei Shiloach explains that the propaganda machine in Egypt worked overtime in order to convince the Jews that they were in a workers paradise and that they would find nothing as good outside it would be foolish to attempt leaving. The Jews bought the sales pitch and no one escaped. The terrible pain and oppression was necessary in order to convince the Jews to want to be freed.


This says Chiddushei HaRim is the meaning of the verse. Homiletically the word סבלות (burdens) may be rendered as סבלנות (tolerance). The first step toward redemption is to view enslavement as unbearable and intolerable and to psychologically rebel against it. As long as one is not disgusted and “fed up” with galus, as long as one is resigned to tolerate it (and certainly if one thinks that by and large it’s great) he or she are not ready for geulah. Moshe told the People that Hashem would induce in them such a distaste and unwillingness to tolerate the enslavement and the gross immorality of Egypt so that emancipation could begin.


This is true on a personal level as well. We all are in too much of a rush to make peace with a devalued level of spirituality and tend to believe that it is the natural state of things. Convincing ourselves that “That’s the way I am; I was always like this and really can’t change” we come to terms with our ruchniyus shortfall and accept what should be unacceptable. In areas of our commitments to Talmud Torah, appropriate socializing, standards of Kashrus (both food, clothes) and many other areas we sell ourselves short and settle for mediocrity.


May the Ribbono shel Olam never let us fall to such a point of indifference or spiritual complacency that He need quickly redeem us before it’s too late. May we merit His help to dream of (and reach) spiritual heights as yet unattained and ask ourselves  “Why not?”


“It is easier to take Jews out of galus than to take galus out of the Jews” (R’ Yaakov Shimshon of Shpitivka)

 

Have a Super Shabbos!

 

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