Photo Credit: Jewish Press

The Haggadah tells us that we became a nation in Metzrayim. The pasuk in Vaeschanan states, “And Hashem has taken you out from the kor habarzel – iron crucible – from Metzrayim, to be a nation of heritage for Him, as this very day” (Devarim 4:20). Why is Metzrayim referred to as a crucible? Why was it necessary for us to be in Metzrayim in order to become a nation?

The Gemara in Brachos says that in a sense Bnei Yisrael cannot be blamed for the sin of the eigel, because they were put in a predicament where they would almost undoubtedly fall to the temptation. The Gemara says that having lived in Metzrayim for so many years was comparable to a father who bathes his son smears him with oil feeds him gives him a wallet and places him at the doorpost of harlots. What can the son do but sin? However, how are we to understand how our Merciful Father in heaven would do such a thing to his beloved children? Why would Hashem put us in such a situation?

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We know that Metzrayim was the zenith of culture in its time. It was the most powerful wealthiest, sophisticated, educated, and the most advanced civilization in the developed world.

The truth is this is not only true about Metzrayim. Every nation that we have been in galus has shared these qualities; Bavel, Greece, and Rome were at the center of civilization when we were taken there. Why is it that Hashem chooses to place us in galus in a nation that is at the pinnacle of power and culture in the world?

The fundamental principle that distinguishes Jews from any other nation is the Torah. Hashem Himself gave us the Torah on Har Sinai and it is what defines us as a nation. The Torah is what defines for us what is good and evil, right and wrong. Without it everything is a matter of opinion. The Torah outlines for us every aspect of our lives and identifies what is moral and what is unethical. Without the Torah who says murder or stealing are wrong? Without the Torah someone can come along and justify murder in certain scenarios, such as in the final solution. Without the Torah, morals are just a matter of opinion and they can be altered to suit specific needs.

Hashem wanted us to appreciate the Torah and its righteousness. As the pasuk says, “Which great nation has righteous decrees and laws such as the entire Torah?” (Devarim 4:8) In order to show us that no other nation is more moral and honorable than the Torah, while in galus Hashem chose a nation that was the most advanced in civilization to host us, so we could witness how a “civilized” nation can take babies from their mothers hands and throw them in the river or place them as bricks in a wall covered with mortar. So we could observe upstanding members of society torture and kill innocent human beings because they feel empowered to do so. Hashem wanted us to see how the most sophisticated educated person living without Torah can reduce himself to barbarian.

This was one of the crucial lessons we had to internalize in the iron crucible of Metzrayim before becoming a nation and accepting the Torah.

The United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and has been a very benevolent and moral nation. However, of late, led by the leftist liberals it has begun the journey down an immoral path. For example, it has been reported that Vice President Mike Pence had a policy when he was a Congressman that he would not take personal lunch or dinner meetings alone with women if his wife was not present. Instead of commending this righteous individual for his proper ethical standards, he has been attacked by the left wing media! The media is out to demoralize this once great nation, and that is exactly why they want to destroy the Vice President who is a symbol of morality.

May we be zoche to end this galus and and join together this Pesach in Yerushalayim for the Korban Pesach amen.

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Rabbi Fuchs learned in Yeshivas Toras Moshe, where he became a close talmid of Rav Michel Shurkin, shlit”a. While he was there he received semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, shlit”a. He then learned in Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and became a close talmid of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l. Rabbi Fuchs received semicha from the Mirrer Yeshiva as well. After Rav Shmuel’s petira Rabbi Fuchs learned in Bais Hatalmud Kollel for six years. He is currently a Shoel Umaishiv in Yeshivas Beis Meir in Lakewood, and a Torah editor and weekly columnist at The Jewish Press.