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Freeing Yourself From the Demons of Your Past

Freeing Yourself From the Demons of Your Past

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Passover is a festival of liberation. We became free people, no longer enslaved to our Egyptian masters.

Being enslaved has two parts to it. There is the physical circumstance of slavery—the torturous existence of being subjected, day after day, to the merciless whip of the taskmaster. But there is also psychological slavery—the slave’s mindset and conviction.

Mitzrayim denotes limitations, which we all have to certain degrees. For some, that may mean severe financial problems; for others, it could be serious health issues. And for still others, it may be the burden of an arduous psychological environment. These are the circumstances that constrain us.

But then come our own internal shackles. Even once freed from the abuse or suffering of our past, we may still be living a life inhibited by our own fear, pain or trauma.

We may become freed from our external Egypt, but if Pharaoh has come out with us, essentially, he continues to have full control, mastering our psyche. Our specific set of circumstances may have improved, but our life’s tumultuous inner terrain remains the same.

On the seventh day of Passover we celebrate the splitting of the Red Sea. Even once they had been redeemed from Egypt, the Jews remained fearful of the Egyptians’ great might and power. Only after the sea split—and they saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore—could they finally experience complete liberation.

It’s easy to think of ourselves as free when we’ve overcome an externally imposed limitation. We may be shocked, however, to discover that Pharaoh is still pursuing us even after we’ve escaped his Egypt. But the abuser closing in on us is the Pharaoh that we’ve allowed to accompany us.

So how do we eradicate these demons from our inner world? How do we transcend the personal Egypt within ourselves?

By splitting our inner sea.

To split the sea, G‑d “turned the sea into dry land.” Deep beneath the seawater lies buried a vibrant, beautiful inner life. The sea is a metaphor for material existence, which hides the G‑dly life force that maintains our existence. To transform the sea into dry land means to reveal that neither we, nor our world, are separate from G‑d; that G‑d alone has full control over our lives and knows what’s best for us.

Only by revealing our deep inner truth—our infinite power coming from our infinite connection to the Divine force within us—can we hope to attain our complete liberation. Only then can we fully leave the demons of our past behind us.

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many Chabad.org pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
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Mrs. Chana Weisberg via chabadone.org May 1, 2016

thank you! Thank you all for commenting and for your kind words of inspiration!

As human beings, each of us has our own unique set of limitations, our own demon/s that holds us back, scares us or stops us from reaching our potential.

We need to journey deep within to our core, to find our infinite connection to our Creator, to help us realize that these limitations need not stop us. We can access our unlimited, divine abilities. The journey for each of us is unique, steeped with challenges along the way that we need to, and can, overcome.

Thank you all for sharing and writing! Reply

Charcoal May 1, 2016

Dear Chana, Today, you have truly written words of truth and passion.
As my family gathered for the 8th Night of the Celebration of Passover, I took the liberty of sharing your thoughts with them. As a gentile family who honours our Jewish friends, it was indeed a pleasure to share your thoughts and to reflect upon them. Thank you for your love for those who are still held in captivity.
Respectfully your friend, Charcoal Reply

Shlomith Yehudith May 1, 2016

Dear Ms Chana Weisberg,
This article - it is so POTENTLY what I needed to read tonight. Thank you for reminding me that neither I, nor the world, are separate from G-d. I was so full of worry, but now...all is G-d! What's there to worry about? Peace to you and your loved ones dear Chana. Reply

Anonymous April 30, 2016


As the light within each of us develops in different ways and at a different pace, all of us connect with G-d, do a mitzvah or hear the Torah differently but connected to each other. Therefore, each of us is responsible for the use of the question posed.
I think that this article will deliver many from demons of the past if those persons recognize their need and search for their deliverance in the scriptures. We must always point to the scriptures for answers, which Ms Weisberg did quite well. Reply

Shlomo stephen Brody Long Island NY April 30, 2016

May this be the final Redemption.

As it is said "we all shall see eye to eye when the Lord returns to his abode"

May that Day be this Day! Reply

Anonymous April 29, 2016

Thank you for the great article you have written. It explained things so clearly about our freedom and letting go. Blessings. Reply

Megan Toledo, OH via chabadtoledo.com April 27, 2016

More of an answer I commend the author for being wise enough to ask the right question. The premise and initial drash of the piece are well poised, well structured and relevant to modern Jews.

The difficulty remains in the conclusion. Answering any Torah inquiry with 'connect with G-d' or parallels 'do a mitzvah' and 'Torah [G-d] says' are, with all due respect, non-answers.

While obviously correct, they are so vague, the answer itself is not a contribution. The point of a drasha or even midrash is to elucidate (reveal) WHICH, and possibly how a mitzvah would be of use for the question posed in the introduction of the article. Reply

Bracha Goetz Baltimore April 27, 2016

YES!! Reply

Ekaterina Cohen Israel April 27, 2016

Hag ha-herut - Celebration of freedom Dear Chana, thank you for this excellent article!! You are master of the Word! You describe so exactly one very deep psychological sides of our Soul. Liberation from our fears, which were replaced by anger that followes us sometimes many years because we don't want to let go of our painful past and forgive people. During this Pesah I reconnected with someone very close to me after more than 30 years of separation. G-d helped me to finally evict that Pharaoh from my Soul and make space in it for acceptance of other person. It was like a miracle.
Hag Sameah!
Ekaterina Cohen Reply

Dwight Dekeyser Washington, DC April 26, 2016

The Inner Pharaoh This was a beautiful article and very timely for me personally. Thank you. Reply

Anonymous April 26, 2016

So many of us may today also be saved but not delivered. During this season we should reflect and scrub all corners of our soul so the light shall shine. Reply

S U.K. April 26, 2016

Thank you Beautifully written, thank you for this valuable insight. Reply

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