Our departure from Mitzrayim opened up the locked gates that withheld our personal and national freedom. This happened thousands of years ago, notwithstanding we experienced many other tragic exiles and destructions. When the Maharal of Prague ( 1520-1609) was asked by the people that lived in his generation what the reason was of thanking Hashem for taking us out of Egypt since they lived under the subjection of Edom he answered them that when Am Yisrael left Egypt behind we were able to recognize in ourselves the special Divine traits Hashem bestowed upon us as being the Chosen People. This, the Maharal explained had nothing to do with the turn of events, chance world events and occurrences. At yitziat Mitzrayim the true character of a free people destined to serve Hashem and the Torah in the eventual legacy of the land of Israel became distinguished. This was something that could never be uprooted or removed forever. Our integrity and constant cleaving to this mission has been the internal redeeming feature that has given us the strength to have survived the atrocities placed upon us by the ones that negate our identity. We have never broken but stood as watchmen on the wall knowing our exile was only a temporary occurrence. We believe in and wait for redemption even as it is unfolding right now.
Now it’s closer for we don’t only stand on the walls of Prague but stand on The Wall watching and waiting. We hear foreign sounds, sounds that call for the end of our dream even from here in Israel. But the walls are tumbling down as our people are being collected from the four corners of the world and return home. Yitziat Mitzrayim is not just some nostalgic event that took place in the far past but it is stamped into our consciousness as the power of mind over matter that pushes us indeed towards true liberty granted by G-d to be a sovereign nation in the land. At yitziat mitzrayim we acquired the keynote of faith and loyalty to goodness, to Hashem deep in our souls forever through time.
Mitzrayim means a narrow place. That narrow place way in the back of our minds reminding us of who we really are is made open in this special time of Nissan, the time of our deliverance. Hashem, make it wide and let my people go!
Shabbat Shalom Leah Goldsmith