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The Crown of Halacha

Bo 5778 – Torah! Torah! Torah!

This entry is part 16 of 17 in the series Bereishis 5778

Torah! Torah! Torah!

And the habitation of the children of Israel, that they dwelled in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. It came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, and it came to pass in that very day, that all the legions of the Hashem went out of the land of Egypt. (Shemos 12:40 – 41)

Rashi: Therefore, you must say that [the prophecy] “your seed will be strangers” [commences] when he [Avraham] had offspring. And only when you count 400 years from the time that Isaac was born, you will find 210 years from their entry into Egypt. This is one of the things that [the Sages] changed for King Ptolemy. — [Mechilta, Meg. 9a]

On the Brink of Total Assimilation

It took less than 210 years for us to reach a spiritual wasteland. In Mitzrayim we reached the 49th level of tumah. Even though we spoke Hebrew, wore our own style of clothes, and kept our Jewish names, it was not enough to keep us from falling. When we were close to a point of no return Hashem immediately took us out. There wasn’t even time for our bread to rise!

After 2000 Years Where are We Now?

We have been in galus now for more than 2000 years, we have suffered one terrible persecution after another. We’ve wandered the entire earth and even now that we are returning to the holy land, we are continually threatened. Why did the slaves in Egypt necessitate such a sudden and dramatic redemption after only 210 years while we are left longing for salvation for over 2,000 years? Is our situation hopeless, have we fallen beyond the 49th level of tumah?

Emunah and Torah Cannot be Destroyed

The answer is that the Jews in Mitzrayim still did not have the Torah. Even with all the safeguards they had in place to guard their Jewish identity; it was not enough to keep them from falling to the lowest levels. They lacked a moral compass and a map to freedom. Our compass and map is emunah and Torah, therefore we are able to continue to believe in Hashem and live as Jews despite the long exile and the horrible crimes committed against us by the evil nations. We carry on, we have hope for redemption.

Our Values Determine Our Existence

We all can take an active role in our redemption! The values we cling to in galus will determine whether we live or die, whether we remain a nation or assimilate. Look around, the Jews who leave Torah eventually intermarry and in a few generations disappear. Our way out of galus is to teach Torah to our children and to encourage our brethren to hold on to each and every Mitzvah. Every word you learn, every word you teach, every mitzvah you do brings us closer to geula. Hold on to your Torah and your emunah, we’re almost home – the geula can come about in the blink of an eye!

Series Navigation<< Va’eira 5778 – Heading Along A Crash CourseBeshelach 5778 – Level One Emunah: Seeing is Believing >>
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