7 Tishrei 5781 / Friday, September 25, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
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Dawn of Freedom    

Dawn of Freedom

Rabbi Lazer Brody says that if you need salvation, try putting your hand on your heart for a few seconds and contemplate: “There is no one but Hashem and He loves me!”…


Let's look at the inspirational insights we’ll gain from reliving the Exodus from Egypt.


Achieving greatness via emuna


On Shabbos Hagadol (the Great Shabbos), the people of Israel attained great merit by tying lambs to their bedposts. They made no secret of the fact that they were going to slaughter the lambs for a Passover sacrifice. Despite the fact that Egypt worshipped the lambs as deities, Israel did not fear retaliation.


The Jewish people trusted completely in Hashem. This pure and powerful emuna generated tremendous merit that led to the redemption from Egypt and Divine protection and blessings.


From this we learn that emuna in Hashem, especially under difficult and stressful circumstances generates phenomenal Divine compassion and leads to protection, blessings and miraculous salvations.


Our personal Egypt


In one of Rabbi David Ashear’s daily emuna lessons, he recounts that a woman told him that her infant grandson was in the hospital in critical condition. The infant was put on a life-support machine to allow his organs to rest. However, remaining on that machine for prolonged periods was extremely dangerous. The doctors were trying to wean him off the machine, but he was not healthy enough. The baby's mother was extremely distraught; she did not look like herself. The doctors informed her that it did not look like they would be successful in getting the baby off the machine. They were very sorry, but there wasn't anything left for them to do.


The next morning, the mother came in looking like she was back to her old self, dressed nicely and wearing her contact lenses. Her family asked her about the sudden change. She replied, "I have had enough of relying on the doctors. I decided last night to trust and rely only on Hashem. I feel so much better." That day, the doctors came in and said that there was a sudden, major improvement, and Baruch Hashem, the baby came off the machine.  


Only One Address


As I thought about this story, I remembered what Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky said. He stated that the Moshiach will come when everyone loses hope. At first this startled me but then I realized that he meant that the Moshiach will come only when we stop hoping for salvation from 1) our own efforts, 2) help from others or 3) natural forces. The complete redemption will arrive when we rely solely on Hashem.


I believe this applies not only to our national life but to our personal lives. The Ramban says that Hashem acts with us according to our level of trust in Him.


I heard a humorous yet powerful quote from Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman that is also highly relevant during this time of year. He says that when we depend completely on Him, Hashem will declare us dependents on his IRS 1040 form!


The Sfas Emes teaches that when we visualize ourselves at the Passover Seder as personally experiencing the Exodus from Egypt ourselves, we will merit seeing our own personal Exodus very soon.


Daily Exercise


We don't have to wait until Passover. We have numerous references to the Exodus from Egypt in our prayers and in our rituals like the Kiddush on Shabbos. Each time we mention the Exodus from Egypt a light should go on in our heads reminding us to work on our emuna.


In Rabbi Lazer Brody’s emuna CD, The Open Gate, he emphasizes two eternal truths that each of us should constantly ponder: There is no One but Hashem and Hashem loves me!


Whenever you recite a passage from our prayers commemorating the Exodus from Egypt, try putting your hand on your heart for a few seconds and contemplate: “There is no one but Hashem and He loves me!” Over time, this will have a powerful cumulative impact and will help imprint emuna deep into your mind and heart. You may find it helpful to mark the appropriate sections of your prayer book to remind you to do this exercise consistently.


Personal and collective redemption


Every family has at least one area in which they need a major salvation. One family may have a sick person. Another may need a shidduch. In yet another family there may be difficulty in having children. Someone else may be having trouble earning a living. In another household, there may be a child that has gone off the derech.


Let’s hold onto what we learn during Passover and work to improve emuna. Let’s study and pray for simple, pure and clear emuna. In that merit may we soon experience the Exodus from each family's personal Egypt as we receive the salvations we need.

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