Of all the marvelous works of God, perhaps the one angels view with the most supreme astonishment, is a proud man.  -Charles Caleb Colton

One of the cornerstones of Judaism is how we relate to the Exodus from Egypt. We mention it daily in our prayers. In the Torah, God refers to Himself most often, not as the God of Creation, nor even as the God of our Forefathers, but as the God who took us out of Egypt.

The Sfat Emet in 5634 (1874) explains that the concept of Exodus is one which we experience personally on a daily basis. And it is most directly connected to pride. When a person thinks that any achievement in his life is the result of his own efforts, it will not be long before God will bring him travails to demonstrate how little he truly controls. The frequent and even daily travails are then meant to humble us, to lead us to remember God, to call to God and then to find redemption from those same travails. The God who saved us from Egypt will likewise save us from our current hardships, enslavement and anguish. The path to redemption is to lose the self-pride of success, to be humble, to remember the Almighty and to hope for divine salvation, all with the requisite healthy and reasonable efforts. And we need to repeat this daily. Hence the daily recollection of the Exodus.

May we experience successive redemptions, both small and large.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ben-Tzion

Dedication

To Avi Spitz and Yael Kohn on their upcoming wedding.