web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Is There A Shortcut To Redemption?

Steinsaltz-032913

Pesach, the Hebrew name for Passover, appears first in the context of the ten plagues, in which God passed over the homes of the Israelites while the rest of Egypt suffered.

On a deeper level, the Passover festival is based on this idea of passing or skipping over the regular order of things. The Jews did not leave Egypt as part of an evolutionary process. Their departure was a leap, a shortcut.

While the exodus was a move from slavery to freedom, it was also a transition from oppression to redemption. From beginning to end, the Passover redemption is a leap over an orderly, consistent historical course into a new and better state and a much higher level of existence.

The Israelites were not just enslaved. They had become slaves in their mindset, their world-view and their sense of personal self-worth. While the sons of Jacob and their families surely had a spiritual and religious legacy, it was not well defined and had no specific rites; thus the legacy was practically non-existent.

Possibly the Israelites did retain some elements of their past, but they surely became more and more assimilated into Egyptian culture and its atmosphere. The exodus from Egypt, then, called for a very profound change in the entire psyche and social makeup of the Jewish people.

The act of releasing a slave – one who was born into bondage and with an entire life spent obeying orders – calls for a thoroughgoing personality change. Those who came out of Egypt were immersed in the lowest levels of Egyptian culture. They had to detach themselves completely from their old life and acquire a new set of concepts.

All the slips and failures of the Israelites during their wanderings in the desert are therefore understandable. Yet despite all these personal, social and cultural impediments, this broken nation successfully became a new national entity and began taking a new path.

The prophet Ezekiel compares the Jewish nation that is redeemed from Egypt to a poor girl, saying (Ezekiel 16:6-7): “And…I passed by thee, and saw thee wallowing in thy blood, I said unto thee: In thy blood, live; yea, I said unto thee: In thy blood, live…yet you were naked and bare.”

Thus, over and above all the miracles of the Exodus, the greatest miracle of all is that Jewish people did indeed come out of Egypt and became a nation. The entire Exodus represents a quick leap into redemption, passing over the life of slavery that had lasted for hundreds of years.

There is a great lesson here for every individual in every generation: everyone can “pass over,” make a leap. People can, even by the power of their own decision, make transitions that are not gradual but almost revolutionary. The “passing over” of Passover teaches us that such a jump is possible and inspires us to do so.

Passover represents the promise that we will indeed be able to leap over the multitude of small and big obstacles in our path and reach a better, more perfect state of things, both physically and spiritually.

About the Author: Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is a world-renowned scholar who has authored more than 60 books and hundreds of articles on Torah.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Is There A Shortcut To Redemption?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Sen. Ted Cruz acts senate for unanimous consent to pass the Expatriate Terrorist Act. Sept. 18, 2014.
Ds Reject Voting to Strip Citizenship From US Jihadi ISIS Volunteers
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Miller-091914

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

Sisi:”The religious nature of the Middle East creates challenges for the governing authorities.”

More Articles from Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
Steinsaltz-032913

Pesach, the Hebrew name for Passover, appears first in the context of the ten plagues, in which God passed over the homes of the Israelites while the rest of Egypt suffered.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

The start of the Jewish New Year, the month of Tishrei, is filled with holy days, among them four foundational celebrations: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah-Shemini Atzeret.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/is-there-a-shortcut-to-redemption/2013/03/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: