Shlomo Ezagui

Atheist’s Agnostics and Scientists

“Every generation and daily, a person must see himself as going out of Egypt.” The souls of all humans are expected to move “from strength to strength” to continually improve on a daily basis. Every day, we must be mindful to ask ourselves, “Today, in what area of my life will I expand my horizons and progress upward?”

We are granted another day for one sole reason: to improve ourselves and the world, not to remain in the status quo. The problem is, it takes work. God did promise us it would certainly be worth it, but like everything of value, it comes with great toil.

God created the conditions in which we toil. In Hebrew, it is called Mitzraim (“Egypt”), and a King Pharaoh rules it. Like Egypt, Mitzraim is a mental and emotional state in which a person’s soul is constricted and held back, and that person’s soul can’t get the growth and freedom of expression it needs.

The Godly spark within, the actual “I” of every person, needs the chance to express itself spiritually. When it is unable to do so (or is not given the opportunity to do so), a person feels suffocated and unfulfilled and feels a sense of lack. Because their soul feels failure and confusion, they lack the motivation and resolve to succeed in their life’s mission. It becomes a vicious cycle; they will stumble more often, making it easier to give in to challenges and temptations.

When Moses approached King Pharaoh to free the Israelites, Pharaoh responded, “Who is God that I should listen to his voice?” King Pharaoh proclaimed, “The Nile is mine, and I made it.” Pharaoh considered himself a god!

That is why we find that God promises that after the Egyptians experience the plagues, they will finally know, in three different ways, that “I am God in the midst of the land.”

The staff of Moses was made of a very heavy and expensive stone, and it had the ten plagues inscribed on it in a mnemonic of three words.

Regarding finding Egypt within, and the Pharaoh who ruled this territory, our sages tell us why the plagues were divided into three categories to allude to the three types of people the plagues were coming to affect. Since the Bible teaches all people for all times, in one form or the other, all three types can be found inside each one of us.

First was a group of people who denied God. The second was a group who said there might be a God, but he is up in the heavens. Finally, a third group said that God, who created the heavens and earth, certainly fills the entire universe; however, once the rules of nature were set into law, even God has no role to play, and life rests in the hands of humans.

God used the three plagues to show each group they were wrong.

The root of all downfall and all weakness and perversion is when a person forgets there is a God and becomes arrogant and haughty, “self-made” — “It is my strength, wit, and wisdom that has brought me all my success.”

This leads to anger, frustration, conceit, self-centeredness, emptiness, anxiety, and depression. Everything is always a matter of, “What is in it for me?” Even kindness to others is motivated by the thought, “If I am not kind to myself, who will be?”

Each of the ten plagues addresses one of the ten dimensions of a soul that could use improvement to make it whole, perfect, and more connected with God. The souls were completely freed from this (inner and internal) Mitzraim by the ten plagues, which fell into three groups. 

The plagues demonstrated not only that there is a God (Group 1) and that he is very much present in this world with each one of us (Group 2) but also that God always maintains the possibility of influence and control over everything at the whim of His will (Group 3).

Knowing and absorbing this knowledge inside our psyche and feeling it in our emotions becomes the impulse to eliminate Mitzraim — the constraints and problems inside the person — and liberate the soul.

The person can more readily accept God’s plans, will always be at peace with themselves and others, will be more tranquil, will have more tolerance, and will live with powerful self-confidence and inner strength.

Freedom from Egypt is achieved when the message of the plagues is finally realized: all is God, always. There is nothing and nobody in control of our universe but God.

The entire world can be brought to its knees by a single microbe. With all our technology, nuclear armaments, supercomputers, scientists who tell us we do not need God anymore, and influential hedge fund investors, we are still reminded that at any moment, without much fanfare, God can and does pull all of it, the whole lot, out from underneath the entire world.

When things are good, we remember that it is only due to His mercy and kindness that nothing has gone wrong, and we are allowed to enjoy His blessings, and when things are not so good, we remember that at any moment, God Almighty can pull one of His tricks out of the rabbit hat. 

Chapter 133

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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