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Wednesday
Apr022014

ARE WE STILL IN EGYPT?

When Hashem asked Moshe to take the Jewish people out of exile, Moshe responds, “Please send your other messenger.” Rashi explains that he is referring to Moshiach. At first glance, it is puzzling: We all know that Hashem knows best. Why would Moshe argue with Hashem’s decision? 

Dear Reader sh’yichyeh,

This week we begin the month of miracles, the month of Nissan. It is a month in which we celebrate the dedication of the Mishkan and the liberation from Mitzrayim. It is a month that we focus on Geula and Moshiach, as Chazal teach us “ “B’Nisan Nigalu, U’B’Nisan Asidim L’gael” – In Nisan we were redeemed, and in the future we will be redeemed in Nissan.

Chassidus teaches us that the Geula from Mitzrayim was the first catalyst for the Moshiach. As a matter of fact, the redemption from Mitzrayim is still not complete until the final Geula.

With this understanding, the Rebbe (Chaya Sara 5752) explains a fascinating thing: When Hashem asked Moshe to take the Jewish people out of exile, Moshe responds “Please send your other messenger.” Rashi explains that he is referring to Moshiach. 

At first glance, it is puzzling: We all know that Hashem knows best. Why would Moshe argue with Hashem’s decision?

The Rebbe explains: Moshe wasn’t arguing whether he should accept the responsibility or not. He was asking that Hashem connect his mission of taking the Jewish people out of Egypt with the mission of Moshiach to take the Jewish people out of exile to Eretz Yisroel. It is one continuous journey.

That also explains a rather grammatically puzzling Pasuk. The Pasuk says (Micha 7:15) כימי צאתך מארץ מצרים אראנו נפלאות “As in the days of your Exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders.” The obvious question is: Why does it say “days” in a plural form if we really left Mitzrayim in just one day? The answer – based on the above – is simple: We are still in the midst of the journey of leaving Mitzrayim.

Once we are talking about the connection of Yetzias Mitzrayim and Moshiach, it is important to clarify the following:

We find that the accepted Halachic opinion is that we will continue to mention the exodus even in the times of Moshiach. The Mishna (Brachos 1:8) retells of an interesting discussion among the sages: “Said R. Eliezer ben Azariah: behold I am about seventy years old, and I have never been worthy to [find a reason] why the exodus from Egypt should be mentioned at night time until Ben Zoma expounded it, for it says, ‘that you may remember the day when you came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.’ [Had the text said,] ‘the days of your life’ it would have meant [only] the days; but ‘all the days of your life’ includes the nights as well. The sages, however, say: ‘the days of your life’ refers to this world; ‘all the days of your life’ is to include the remembrance of the exodus even in the days of Moshiach.”

This Halacha obviously demands explanation: Being that the reason behind the Mitzva is to reinforce our belief in Hashem, it would seem superfluous to have this Mitzva in the times of Moshiach. The prophet Yirmiyahu describes the times of Moshiach (31:34) “And no longer shall one teach his neighbor or [shall] one [teach] his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me from their smallest to their greatest, says the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will no longer remember.” Similarly, the Rambam writes (Hilchos Melachim 12:5): “Therefore, the Jews will be great sages and know the hidden matters, grasping the knowledge of their Creator according to the full extent of human potential, as Isaiah 11:9 states: ‘The world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the ocean bed.’”

The Rebbe gives a fascinating explanation:

While the time of Moshiach is a time of serenity and spiritual fulfillment, there is one component missing – the struggle to conquer our evil inclination. Why do we need this conquering? Why not simply transform the impurity rather than conquering it first? This subjugation has an advantage in that, as the Alter Rebbe writes in the Tanya, a person is a true servant of G-d when he is constantly battling against and subduing his nature. It is a battle which brings G-dly light into the world.

The situation is similar to that of a king who distributes all of his treasures to his soldiers so that they can fight a war. In peace time, these treasures would never have been touched, much less, spent so freely. This war is the battle with the animal soul, and the victory brings treasures of Divine Revelation.

 This is another reason why the Egyptian exodus will be mentioned in the Era of Moshiach. By mentioning the struggles of the exodus – and the personal struggles that we had in exile – we will continue to draw-down these special “spiritual treasures.” In the times of Moshiach these treasures will be totally revealed.

Let us finish with the words of the Rebbe (Nissan 5751): 

“Simply put: All Jews, men, women and even children, have the responsibility to increase their efforts to bring our righteous Moshiach in actual reality!

“Therefore, it’s obvious there’s no place for relying on others or imposing the work on someone else instead of doing it one’s self – but this is the task of every man and woman; everyone must themselves do their job, ‘to serve my Maker’ (for the sake of which ‘I was created’), and certainly one has the ability (since ‘I do not ask except according to their ability’).

What this duty consists of is also simple: increasing one’s Torah and mitzvos. This means learning both the open aspects of the Torah and the inner aspects of the Torah and performing the mitzvos with distinction… All of this should be done with an intense anticipation and desire for the Redemption – ‘I anxiously await his coming every day.’ As we say every day in the prayers: ‘May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in mercy’ and (on weekdays) – ‘Speedily cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish.’ This has been mentioned many times.”

 

Rabbi Avtzon is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati and a well sought after speaker and lecturer. Recordings of his in-depth shiurim on Inyanei Geula u’Moshiach can be accessed at http://www.ylcrecording.com.

 

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