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  KD MAGAZINE!         ב"ה              
 
 
  PARSHAT SHEMOT  
 
By Rabbi Yonassan Biggs

 PARSHAT HASHAVUA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

Shalom and Bracha!

This Shabbat we read the portion of Shemot, which describes the beginning of the Egyptian servitude, the birth and rise of Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses), Hashem’s revelation in the burning bush, and the beginning of Moshe’s mission to redeem the Jewish people from Egypt. Since the redemption from Egypt is the precursor of the redemption from the current exile, the lessons from this week’s portion are very pertinent today.

When Hashem revealed Himself in the burning bush, the Torah tells us that Moshe said, “I shall turn and see this great vision.” When Hashem saw that Moshe turned, He called out to him and commanded him to redeem the Jewish people. The implication of the Torah is that had Moshe not turned, but rather continued with his private affairs, Hashem would not have spoken to him. The Torah is teaching us a great lesson. We must always be searching for the greatness of Hashem. When we see miracles, we must be ready to put aside our mundane affairs and seek the Divine message in our surroundings. When we see divine providence, we must recognize it. If not, we are forfeiting our divine mission.

This is particularly relevant in our mission to bring Moshiach. Hashem’s purpose of creation was this His divine presence should be revealed in the physical world. When Moshiach comes, the world will be “filled with the knowledge of Hashem just like the water fills the ocean bed.” When we open our eyes to the divine providence in our daily lives, we bring the world a step closer to that goal. When we share our awareness, we bring those around us closer. The Talmud teaches (Sanhedrin 94 a) that King Chizkiyahu, who ruled in the time of the first Temple and had a miraculous victory over King Sancheriv, would have been Moshiach had he properly praised Hashem for the miracle. When we close our eyes, we forfeit the opportunity.

When Hashem spoke to Moshe from the burning bush, He said “And now the cries of the Jewish people have come before me and I have seen their torment.” Although Hashem was well aware of the torment of the Egyptian slavery, and had promised the forefathers to redeem the Jewish people from Egypt, Hashem stressed, “I have heard their cries.” This teaches us that we must constantly beseech Hashem for the redemption, until our cries will finally be heard.

Hashem continued and told Moshe “When you will redeem the people from Egypt, they will serve G-d upon this mountain.” With these words, Hashem explained to Moshe the true meaning of the Exodus and the core of the Jewish people. The Exodus was not simply emancipation from physical slavery. The Jewish people were becoming a new and unique people, experiencing a bond with Hashem that was previously unknown. Similarly, as we beg for the Geulah, we seek not only world peace and freedom from oppression, but a world where Hashem presence will illuminate every aspect.

After Moshe announced the redemption, for a limited time the servitude got worse. To further the confusion, Moshe disappeared. The Midrash says that the same will occur at the time of Moshiach’s coming. May Hashem guard the land of Israel and grant peace and unity to the Jewish people with the coming of Moshiach. 

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Biggs

Rabbi Yonassan Biggs is from Chabad of Great Neck, NY. His website is: http://www.chabadgn.com/

 
   
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