Shlomo Ezagui

The critical influence of the mind

Siim Lukka

When God revealed himself to Moses on Mount Sinai, he said, “When you take these people out of Egypt, they will serve me on this mountain.” Later, when Moses spoke to King Pharaoh, he said, “Send out my people so they can serve God.”

Leaving Egypt was not an end in itself. If not replaced with a practical, meaningful way of life, being free from servitude is no guarantee of “true” freedom.

Exodus was merely the first step toward serving God, which started in earnest 50 days later with receiving the Ten Commandments. With the guidance of the Torah, living in true freedom became possible for the first time.

During the holiday of Passover, God revealed Himself in a phenomenal, miraculous, and supernatural way to punish the Egyptians and free the Israelites. The Bible says, “The nation hastily left Egypt.” In mysticism, we call this act of God an “awakening from above.”

God did this on his own, without much deserving on the part of the Israelites. They did little to improve or change themselves from the evil around them. When God showed them an opportunity to escape, they needed to flee immediately from their environment and prevailing evil.

The advantage of receiving something far more than what is deserved is that it is much more than what we earned. On the other hand, because it comes from the outside and is not generated internally or earned, there is little permanent or personal impact on the person. One may feel weak by a sense of detachment since it’s a superficial connection and an unearned gift from God.

The seven weeks between Passover and the following holiday, the giving of the Torah, and the Ten Commandments represent the follow-up to the spiritual initiation of Passover. When a person experiences an awakening and the internal stirrings of spirituality are motivated, “the light shines,” but it must be snatched to accomplish anything.

Mysticism explains that there are seven layers to one’s emotions and character. Each of these seven layers has elements of all the others, for 49 levels that comprise one’s spiritual profile.
For example, some people are kind. Kindness must be tempered with severity, like a parent saying no to a child because of their love for that child. So, we have an underlying love expressed through the negative gesture of saying no.

The seven weeks between Passover and the giving of the Torah is a time for a person to examine his emotions on all 49 levels and determine whether they operate organically or because a conscious decision was made to behave in one way or another.

When a person acts only because it feels good or comes naturally, there is a great possibility he might end with negative results. What happens when he stops feeling the benefit of this behavior, or someone or something unscrupulous makes him feel better?

To live as a fulfilled Human being, the mind must be directed conscientiously to influence not just a person’s natural inclinations but the fundamental nature of the organic tendencies of one’s emotions and character. The power of the intentional mind must influence, direct, and transform the nature of our personalities and temperaments.

The shine of Passover, a time of freedom and liberation, must be absorbed and captured so that in the following seven weeks, the mind influences all one’s emotions and not strictly because of natural emotional impulses.

Once a person has worked on himself in this manner, where the intellect influences the feelings of his emotions, he merits the holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah. He becomes a receptacle for the profound wisdom of the Holy Torah, the ultimate intelligence. This person is elevated to the stature, and potential a human being is meant to reach.

Chapter 51

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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