Friday, March 23, 2007

The redemption from Egypt will forever stay the spring of the whole entire world.

In a book entitled Meged Yerachim, Rav Kook wrote different sentences in order to describe the different months of the Jewish Year. For the month of Nissan, Rav Kook wrote:

"יציאת מצרים תשאר לעד האביב של העולם כולו."
The redemption from Egypt will forever stay the spring of the whole entire world.

In order to better understand this sentence (and most sentences in Meged Yerachim), we need to separate it into smaller sections which we will understand separately before understanding how they inter-relate together. We will start by asking what does the spring represent? We will then ask what is so amazing about the Redemption from Egypt. Finally, we will ask ourselves who is the entire world and why does it matter?

First of all, what does the spring represents? On the one hand, spring represents the opportunity for change. While in the winter, everything is dead, nothing changes, in the spring, there is opportunity for change for growth. Also, in the spring, we can finally go out, we do not live in our individualistic homes where it is too cold to go outside. We go out, meet friends, live a life of klal. Finally, the spring is the time where we can relate to the land, because in the winter, it is too cold to plant anything. All of these things are aspects of redemption. On an individual level, the growth is something which represents the individual tshuva which comes with redemptions. On a broader level, the time of redemption is the time of klal, a time where we stop living for ourselves and start living for klal Israel. During the time of redemption, all the small candles which were spread out all around t he world (jewish souls) come together to light a huge bonfire called klal Israel. We do not live as individuals anymore but rather as a nation. Finally, the time of redemption is a time in which we reconnect to the land of Israel. Am Israel goes back to its land.

What is so amazing about the redemption from Egypt? The first of the 10 commandments says: “I am Hashem your God who brought you out of Egypt.” There is a famous question as to why the commandment says “brought you out of Egypt” instead of “created heaven and earth”.
The Kuzari holds that yetsiat mitsrayim was the first actual encounter we had with God in this world. Before, we heard nice stories about how God is great but in Yetsiat Mitsrayim, we saw the hand of God mamash, therefore, it was the proof of God’s presence in this world.
The Sfat Emet takes this idea further. He says that a person who makes his friend sin is worse then one who kills him because by making him sin you make him loose both this world and the world to come. So too, when we were created, we were physically created. But through the redemption of Egypt, Am Israel discovered its special segulah, its special nature which guaranteed it hashgacha pratit (a special relationship with God).
Rav Kook takes it one step further by saying that without the redemption from Egypt, the possibility for redemption would not have been known, the possibility for change and growth would not have been known (the change was we went from slavery to freedom), the special nature of klal Israel would not have been known and the special tafkid of am Israel to bring light into the whole world from erets Israel would not have been known. If we were to summarize all opinions, the redemption of Egypt is the first encounter God had with this physical world, proving he is not separate from this world but that he is an active participant in the creation which tries to better it, and that he has created a partner in this creation called am Israel.

Now who is the whole world? In his sentence, Rav kook wanted to make it clear that he spoke about the spring which the whole world will experience, the universal redemption. Through the redemption of Egypt we get to the universal redemption.

Now we can better understand the sentence:

"יציאת מצרים תשאר לעד האביב של העולם כולו."
The redemption from Egypt will forever stay the spring of the whole entire world.
The redemption from Egypt signaled the possibility for freedom, for redemption, for a spring. It also signaled the special nature of klal Israel and its power to bring in an amazing light into this world. It showed us that it is through am Israel that the world can be freed. It is through the redemption from Egypt that we can see that the final redemption is possible. Those who want to save Africa need to build Erets Israel as the homeland for am israel. Those who want to save the world need to build the beit hamikdash. It is through the redemption that we can learn that the strengthening of Am Israel, the building of the beit hamikdash, will bring a spring for the whole entire world.

This is why each year, on the seder table, we not only recount the past redemption from Egypt, but also say that just as we were then saved, we should also be saved in our days. Both redemptions have the same nature: Just as we were then saved, through the same process which was brought into this world, the whole entire world will be saved again. more...

1 comment:

muse said...

great pics!