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Just Like Then

"On the tenth of the month, every man is to take a lamb.. guard it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then slaughter it.."

(Bo 12:3-6)

This is the mitzvah of the Pesach-offering.

It was to be held in the Jewish homes for several days to arouse the curiosity of the Egyptians who worshipped the lamb as their idol.

The Jews were to tell them openly, without fear, that they intend to slaughter it on the fourteenth of Nissan.

Needless to say, this required from the Jews great courage and absolute faith in G-d.

The redemption from Egypt happened by virtue of this fortitude and mesirat nefesh (readiness for self-sacrifice) on the part of the Jewish people.

Our sages thus relate that before that day the Jews were devoid of mitzvot, and in fact very assimilated to the Egyptian lifestyle. G-d therefore provided them with the mitzvah of the Pesach- offering, and by merit of this mitzvah, compounded with the mesirat nefesh required for its fulfillment, they were redeemed from Egypt.

The prophet says, "As in the days of your going out from Egypt, I will show [the people] wondrous things." (Michah 7:15)

This means that the exodus from Egypt is a paradigm for the future redemption by Moshiach.

When the Torah offers an example or model, the analogy is precise, corresponding in all details.

This applies in our case as well: the conditions which brought about the exodus from Egypt will also bring about the exodus from our present galut.

Thus just as the exodus from Egypt resulted from fortitude, inner strength, faith and mesirat nefesh, so, too, the Messianic redemption will come about by our acting with such vigor and mesirat nefesh.

Every mitzvah must be observed with determination, thus for sure also the mitzvah of Ahavat Yisrael (love of Israel) which is the fundamental principle of the entire Torah.

This mitzvah must be fulfilled with vigor and without our being affected by anyone: one must speak with fellow-Jews about Torah and mitzvot.

If ineffective at first, one must speak to them again and again. There is no reason to be impressed by a seemingly antagonistic reaction.

On the contrary, the perceived antagonism actually proves that the person addressed is affected.

Thus we must continue with him time and again until he becomes receptive, and do so with vigor and conviction.

To be sure, in order to be heard one must speak gently and with composure, but with vigor nonetheless.

When not successful at first, the fault lies not in the other but within yourself. The listener is a good person, but because your words did not "come from the heart" that is why "they did not enter the heart."

When going about our task with vigor and mesirat nefesh, without being affected at all by the world around us, all aspects of opposition will be nullified and cease to be, and the Messianic redemption will come about very speedily in our very own days.

 

 


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