02 April 2015

"Leaving Mitzrayim"

13 Nisan 5775


Leaving Mitzrayim and its Spiritual Realm
by Rabbi Pinchas Winston

At the end of the 430 years, on precisely that day, all the hosts of God went out from Egypt. (Shemos 12:41)

LEAVING MITZRAYIM IS NOT EASY. Indeed, it is far easier to leave Egypt than it is to leave Mitzrayim. Jews have come to and gone from Egypt for thousands of years now, but they have barely left Mitzrayim, if at all. In fact, every day of our lives we are trying to do exactly that, whether we are aware of it or not.

You thought they were the same place? Once they were, in Moshe Rabbeinu's time. However, though Egypt has stayed where it was since that time, Mitzrayim has moved around and spread out. Now, it is possible to be as far away from North Africa as America, and still be in Mitzrayim, in a big way.

This is because Mitzrayim is a spiritual reality, while Egypt is a physical one, and though they can overlap, they don't have to. For, though Egypt is defined by its geographical borders, Mitzrayim is defined by conceptual borders, and if you don't know what they are, then you can "live" there and not even know it. And, to live there and not know it is to be stuck there.

This is why the Haggadah tells us each year to look at ourselves as if we too left Mitzrayim, because that is what we must do. Therefore, the Haggadah is really telling us to make a point of understanding what Mitzrayim is, so that we can recognize it for what it is, and escape it. Amazingly, so few Jews do, and as a result, so few Jews have.

...Do you want to leave Mitzrayim, wherever it is that you live? Do you want to complete your journey that began over three millennia ago, perhaps even ahead of the rest of the nation, which will only do so once Moshiach comes? After all, that is why it is called "Keitz HaYomim," that is, "the end of the days." ...

(You can read the whole thing HERE.)