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Who Knows One-Part II

Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rebbetzin Leah Kohn

The Sefat Emet writes that Hashem gave mankind another chance to go back to the original state of Adam before the sin. Yet the generations that followed chose to indulge in physicality and ignore their mission. In the generation of the flood people succumbed to their desires. They ignored the voice of the soul. Sedom legitimized doing evil until it reached a point where Hashem had to destroy them. Since the other nations opted to remain in the arena of physicality, the Jewish people were chosen to bring the voice of Hashem to mankind. Our role is to dedicate ourselves to spirituality even while we are involved in physicality.  The soul gives life and purpose to the body. If we as individuals subjugate our body to our soul and make the soul the leader, then we can serve as the soul of the other nations. If we accomplish our mission, the other nations will by consequence be subjugated to us and help us serve Hashem. If instead we are subjugated to them, it’s an indication that we are not fulfilling our purpose. In a sense, we are still in the state of Mitzrayim.

When Hashem did redeem us from Mitzrayim, it indicated that we had undergone an internal transformation.

After the Jewish people accepted the Torah, they should have entered Israel and Mashiach should have come. Why didn’t the exile end there? The Torah tells us that Hashem took us out of Egypt prior to the time He intended.  Hashem told Avraham that his children would be exiled in Egypt for 400 years. This was the time needed for the Jewish people to accomplish the level of subjugation of the body to the soul required to become the nation of Hashem. However, after 210 years Hashem had to take the Jews out so that they would not fall to the 50th gate of impurity. There was still work that was left unaccomplished. Since we are on a much lower level than the generation that left Egypt, Hashem divided the task in smaller segments over the generations and we are still working towards this goal today.  

Additionally, while the Jews were in the desert, they started to lose enthusiasm. When they relaxed their performance of the Torah, Amalek attacked. We had been burning with desire. We were ready to go beyond our capabilities. But when we became vulnerable by dampening our enthusiasm for Torah, Amalek stopped us and cooled us off.  Although we came to Sinai and received the Torah, the journey had to continue and we are still working to achieve our mission till today.

We are still in Mitzrayimn and that is why we have Pesach every year. We have an obligation to remember Yetziat Mitzrayim because our purpose is to leave Egypt, to subjugate the body to the soul, to redeem it from its prison and let it enlighten us and lead us towards redemption.

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