Our Daily Exodus

Life is a series of Exoduses. We struggle to unlock one door, and as we open it we hopefully see the next locked door ahead of us. I say “hopefully”, because to think that we can just arrive at the free and easy life is to delude ourselves out of the beauty of life itself.
In today’s Parsha we read of the Message of Redemption that G-d conveys through Moses to Pharoah about the Jewish People in the midst of their Egyptian bondage – “Let My People Go!” … it’s the clarion call of freedom that rings throughout the ages. However, most people forget that that phrase was only the first half of G-d’s message – “Let my People Go So That They May Serve Me!“, is what He really said. Freedom is not an end unto itself, it is a means to the greatest end of all: serving G-d, serving a Higher Purpose of life…
The message of the Exodus for each of us today is that we must appreciate the true nature of the choices we face throughout our lives and throughout history. Our choices are not between slavery and freedom, because free people are not inherently free … we can be slaves to our own human nature, with its base instincts and selfish ego. Our choice is about who we are going to serve – are we here to serve ourselves or are we here to serve Something Higher than us …
The challenges that G-d puts in our path, the locked doors that we find as we move through life, are His vote of confidence that we can actually break through those challenges. If He brings us to it, it’s because He believes we have the strength and fortitude to get through it.
In a way then, the Exodus we each practice today in our own private lives is greater than the Exodus from Egypt. That was a forced Exodus – it was G-d’s strength that broke Pharoah and brought us to freedom. However, our daily personal Exodus comes about not merely from G-d’s strength, but from the Divine strength within us. In Egypt, the Jews were too weak on their own and therefore they had to flee from Pharoah. Today the Jew is strong and therefore we have the capacity to embrace our challenges. Look for the locked door – and remember that you have the key to unlock the treasure behind it. Go.
About the Author
Rabbi Yossi Deren was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1973, lived in Western Massachusetts through the '80s and today serves as the Spiritual Leader and Executive Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Greenwich, Connecticut. Together with his wife Maryashie, they founded the synagogue-center in 1996 as Emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory.
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