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ב"ה

Third Party Intervention

Friday, 15 April, 2022 - 8:36 am

From hostile Twitter Takeovers to surprising Sinking Ships in the Black Sea, calls abound for others to intervene.

***

Rewind 3300 years. Similarly, Egypt was going engaging in intense oppression.  Moshe had recently arrived on the scene with a promise to liberate the Jewish people from the atrocities of their oppressor, Pharaoh.

The Jews themselves appeared helpless at the hands of a brutal dictator. But the power of the Almighty changed the balance of power.  Ten plagues and many miracles later, G-d whisked them out of Egypt to the new frontier of freedom.

We would be mistaken to assume that they lived happily ever after and the story ends there. In truth, their journey had just begun.  They prepared spiritually for 49 days to receive the Torah.  They traveled in the wilderness for 40 years before entering the Promised Land.  They inhabited the land for hundreds of years prior to building a permanent home for G-d.

Our Rabbis teach that although the Jews had escaped the boundaries of Egypt, they labored for many years to remove Egypt from within themselves. That proved to be a difficult task. This, they explain, is the meaning of the words in the Hagadah, “If the Holy One, blessed be He, had not taken our fathers out of Egypt, then we, our children and our children's children would have remained enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt.”  Events may have eventually provided relief for Jewish slavery.  The Hagadah is teaching us however that the Jews had a different problem on their hands. Without G-d’s wake-up call they would have remained enslaved to the culture, notions and lifestyle of Pharaoh and Egypt.

But crossing the border did not solve that difficulty. Rather the journey to freedom had just begun.

***

Every year we remember and relive this Exodus by observing the Pesach holiday, in particular the Pesach Seder.

Virtually every Jewish festival seems to include a fair dose of fare (okay an extravagant dose).  But Pesach offers an even greater quantity of learning.  The Passover Seder’s focal point is the recounting of our Exodus from Egypt.

In fact, prior to leaving Egypt, Moshe exhorted the Jewish people, that when their children will ask about these Passover procedures, parents should respond that we do them to commemorate G-d’s redemption of our people from Egypt.

What was the call of the hour in the hours before the Exodus? It was not military strategy nor spiritual yearning. It was the charge of teaching our children.  If we wish the values of freedom and spirit to remain vibrant and grow within us, we must educate our children in that vein.

I once heard a great comment that may sum it up: Revolutions cause movement; education causes true change.

This Pesach let us ensure that we don’t suffice with third-party intervention – even as grand as the Almighty’s – but strive to internalize our inner freedom and to impart this timeless and priceless message to our children.

With Blessings for a Happy & Kosher Pesach!

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