Shlomo Ezagui

Faith. The Cornerstone of Life

Kévin et Laurianne Langlais

God commands Moses to “come” to Pharaoh and request the freedom of the Israelites. Why does the Bible use this unusual phrasing of “come” to Pharaoh? It would make more sense to say “go” to Pharaoh.

One possible explanation is that God is telling Moses and everyone who is inspired by this story the following:

In every generation and everyone’s life, a Pharaoh represents the Master of Slavery, the antithesis to the nature of a soul, which is freedom at all times. Slavery comes in the form of addictions and being trapped by unproductive habits and routines. Often, a person feels trapped and overwhelmed by the magnitude of having to challenge this Pharaoh in his life. Therefore, God says you are not “going” on your own, you are “coming” with me.

This is why the Bible continues, “For I have hardened his (Pharaoh’s) heart.” The difficulties we encounter in life do not happen outside the providence of God. Everything we come across in life is there because that is what God has placed in our path, and we are with Him, all the time. Because God is the source of all, and God, who is all-knowing, placed those difficulties in our path, He knows we have the strength to overcome them, along with His God-given strength.

Faith is a fascinating faculty of the soul. Just like we can think logically, speak, and listen, we also have a gift and ability to have faith, believe, and trust in the Creator, who put us here in this world and placed us on a mission.

The Talmud tells of a thief who prays to God that he should be successful. Now, if he believes in an all-knowing, all-powerful God, how can he slap God in the face by asking for help against God’s will? The answer is that faith is not internalized on its own. We can believe, and often it does not impact our behavior; thus, we act in ways that counter our genuine faith.

In the holy book, the Tanya, Rabbi Shneur Zalman writes, “Everything is perfect, it is just not understood, and with the power of this faith, everything becomes good in an open way.”

The author is saying the following: since faith can sometimes be detached from reality, if a person truly believes everything is good, then even amid what appear to be obstacles and great hardships, his demeanor remains calm, composed, and tranquil. This faith that everything is good can transform the conditions of the situation, making it the positive experience it is meant to be.

When nurtured constantly, this powerful type of faith is possible in everyone. No one expects to run a marathon or lift three times their weight simply because they decide to do so, but if a person puts his mind to it, the potential is there… if it is important enough.

Faith is the cornerstone of a solid life. If you put in the effort, you are guaranteed the kind of faith that weathers all hardship and can change your circumstances so that the negative disappears and only the good remains.

Chapter 37

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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