If you heard that 80 percent of the public agreed on something, would you dare disagree? Would you want to belong to the 20 percent?
Every year this question rises again in the Torah, a moment before the Exodus from Egypt.
Rashi writes that only one of every five Jews left Egypt. That is, 80 percent stayed behind because they didn’t believe in G-d’s promise, didn’t feel any enthusiasm about the revolutionary good news.
This week, Rashi doesn’t just tell us about the journey from slavery to freedom; he also places a warning sign before us. Sometimes, believing in Moshe Rabbenu’s message is not popular. Sometimes the majority gives us a completely different message that does not jive
with Moshe’s message at all.
When the most dramatic story in our history – the Exodus from Egypt, took place – the majority didn’t believe in it at all at first. Rabbi Shmuel Polak writes: We say that in every generation a person must see himself as if he personally left Egypt. Thus, in every generation, a person must ask himself:
If I were in Egypt, would I have been one of the 80 percent or one of the 20 percent?