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The Inside Story on Passover

The Inside Story on Passover

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In each one of us there is an Egypt and a Pharaoh and a Moses and Freedom in a Promised Land. And every point in time is an opportunity for another Exodus.

Egypt is a place that chains you to who you are, constraining you from growth and change. And Pharaoh is that voice inside that mocks your gambit to escape, saying, “How could you attempt being today something you were not yesterday? Aren’t you good enough just as you are? Don’t you know who you are?”

Moses is the liberator, the infinite force deep within, an impetuous and all-powerful drive to break out from any bondage, to always transcend, to connect with that which has no bounds.

But Freedom and the Promised Land are not static elements that lie in wait. They are your own achievements which you may create at any moment, in any thing that you do, simply by breaking free from whoever you were the day before.

Last Passover you may not have yet begun to light a candle. Or some other mitzvah still waits for you to fulfill its full potential. This year, defy Pharaoh and light up your world. With unbounded light.

By Tzvi Freeman
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. Subscribe and get your dose daily. Or order Rabbi Freeman’s book, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, click here.
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Jorge Qro. Mexico April 14, 2017

"Egypt is a place that chains you to who you are".
I say it with a loud voice, Egypt is more than that, it's a place where if you have been there, by chance, because of an ill-fated destiny, or by your personal misfortune, even once, has the ability to persecute your soul until the end of your days. Only your prayers and the mercy of our beloved G-d, blessed be He, can free you from that stalking. Reply

Anonymous burnaby April 10, 2017

Praying that the Moses within becomes a stronger force to break through my bondage into where my G-d wants me to live. I desperately need this passover time is significant for me this year. Thank you for a clear picture of what is at work within us that tries to keep us less than G-d would want us to be. You have a wonderful way of bringing wisdom to light. Reply

Lois CA April 10, 2017

There is no way to misunderstand this message. It is personal to each of us and relevant to every cell in my body. Thank you for your wisdom and the uncomplicated way of saying it. Reply

Anonymous Dallas, TX USA April 10, 2017

The word for Egypt in Hebrew is Mitzrayim which is related to the word referring geographically to the Sinai peninsula. Because it's a strait between two seas, it became understood as a narrow place. Take the literal meaning and make it figurative. Then apply it to the process of growing as a Jew, i.e., becoming liberated from the narrowness of limited thinking, restricting beliefs and self sabotaging habits. So the holy language itself offers an essential insight into what Pesach is really about. Reply

Jorge Qro. Mexico April 18, 2016

Moses himself has no power to liberate us. Moses became a liberator when G-d, blessed be He, commanded him to do so. The same is true for us, we elevate our prayer to G-d, and one of these days, it happens -you are liberated from your spiritual foe. Regarding to your material liberation, -that's something you have to work for. Moses liberates the Jewish people from a state of slavery. Moses and the Jewish people didn't have any spiritual foe. Job had a spiritual foe, namely The Adversary. Job:1-6. Reply

Maria New York, NY April 17, 2016

You define Egypt and Pharaoh, and you define Moses; however, you make Pharaoh's voice heard. Where is Moses' voice? We heard the destroying, soul shattering questions that plunge us into darkness and keep us chained in despair. Where are the luminous, empowering questions that will coax us to undertake the ardous process of liberation?
When we are in galut, in the depth of depression, Moses may be there, but he is dormant. We lack the mental clarity to envision freedom, to develop a blueprint, a path, to emancipation. We don't need the beguiling whisper of the serpent; we need to obliterate it! So let us hear Moses type questions; his thunderous voice leading us to liberation! Do not reinforce that which keep us in slavery. Reply

Anonymous Tel Aviv April 10, 2017
in response to Maria:

I was going to say... that we need to "go" on the spiritual and physical quest for enlightenment, transforming and handling the serpent that sent us into the pitfall of medical abuses. The time "is" n.o.w. for coming out of the land of hypochondria and deals with Big Pharma. A.r.e. we all too weak and depressed to take a walk? Reply

Peter Brooklyn April 17, 2016

It may be time to forego the Allegorical language. After all, in these contemporary times there is a country called "Egypt" with citizens who are called "Egyptians". If we know the inner dimmension of Torah, and that "Moses" is our capacity to bring the knowledge of G_d into the community;"Egypt" is our lower self etc...might we now speak in a language more directly and spare souring relations with people who identify nominally as these terms.Imagine a Seder with friends from Egypt and when we get to the part "first borm male Egyptians" are killed or "the wicked Egyptians"---might create a very uncomfortable situation...As Socrates said in one of Plato's dialogues:Allegory is a dangerous teaching method---children cannot discern what's real or not & then it is difficult for adults to learn it in a new way. Reply

Mark Alcock Zimbali April 15, 2017
in response to Hershel:

Well documented and honestly too. Reply

Hershel Beitar Elite April 14, 2017
in response to Peter :

There is no connection between the people that live in Egypt today and those people that lived there over 3000 years ago.
Whereas the Jewish People are still the same people today as 100 1000 or 3000 years ago.
If allegory is a dangerous teaching method then it follows that living in this physical world is even more dangerous.
The Torah is called the 'Original Allegory'.
It seems pretty safe to me.
Physical is a allegory for the higher spiritual realms. Spiritual is an allegory for the higher realms above the spiritual.
What it comes down to is that the existence of all created things is just all a single thought from Gd.
I, myself would be a bit apprehensive about having a non Jewish Egyptian, Syrian, Lebenese, Palestinian etc. in my house for a meal... Reply

Daniel Scioscia Toronto April 15, 2017
in response to Peter :

Allegory is a fine way to teach. Metaphor is a splendid way forward.
Children may not be able to distinguish what is real or fake. Neither can most adults!
Conjecture is that which is without experience therefore not knowledge.
If the experience is felt then it is real, if the description is shared by people through an allegory than it is G-d's common language for all his thinkers.
Living deeply with G-d is to be beyond the divide of what is real and fake.

Bless. Reply

Eugina Giovanna Herrera New York City, New York April 18, 2014

Freedom will always rule with love in our world and with G-d. Love is light, and light is love and always with truth will be one G-d.

Thank you for sharing this inspiring wisdom Reply

Avraham Ben Yaacov Orlando, Fl April 17, 2014

What wonderful thought. I have just gone through this with my job. The job was Egypt and the boss my pharaoh. He felt i was moving beyond him and the company and was fired. But, the next day i was hired into a better place with foward thinking. Yor essay was on point with me.
Toda
Avraham Reply

Anonymous 19713 March 25, 2013

Thank you for your inspirational comments. I am now reading "BRINGING HEAVEN DOWN TO EARTH BOOK I", by Tzvi Freeman. I am struggling to understand, and I wrestled with my animal soul and my G_dly soul about making a Seder. It will not be authentic, but I decided to try and ask my kids to come. I went to one supermarket here, and asked a clerk where is the Passover foods, and the matzoh. And they didn't even KNOW what matzoh is.

So, right now, my chicken soup is on the stove, and the house smells wonderful.
Let me just say this; I was in a hospital room when Rabbi Baruch Labkowski came in to visit me, and he and Frumy have been very wonderful. So, i thank them, and wish you all a happy Passover.

AND Thank G-d, I am getting well, feel better every day. Reply

Anonymous March 24, 2013

May the troops in the IDF have a wonderful Pesach and remain on alert for all of our sakes.

Chag Sameach all ! Reply

mark alcock ZA March 24, 2013

The Passover story, filled with mercy in a silver lining ,that passes over annually, but will not pass us by, until its spiritual mysteries have enlightened us and made us free from slavery (bondages of sin) ! Praises be to Ha-Shem. Reply

Anonymous Arizona, USA March 24, 2013

Yes, this daily dose Rabbi Freeman seems to carry on a true message to all of us. Thank you for sharing it with all of us, if I may write on behalf of all people. Today I am fighting the Pharoh in me. Insecuirty. G-d, blessed be He, talents, which I appreciate so much, and give Him thanks everyday, and moment in my life. But the insecurity of an unfulfilled dream that I had since a child. Not of money and power, but just a means of projecting, with my talents, messages of the beauties I contemplate in my every day life. Being successful at it for the dignity of self independence. How can one do that? My achievements, I feel, most come with the Will of the Almighty, Who is the primordial part in my life. There have been, as in everyone's personal life, an evil trying to crush those dreams of self realization. When I read in Torah of the talented people who helped build the Holy Temple, and how Hashem, knew them so well, I ask: Who I am in You, and what is your desire in my life? Reply

Sheila LyonHall San Fernando, CA March 24, 2013

Rabbi Freeman … I am inspired by this lovely and poignant post “in metaphor.” I would add that the “voice inside that mocks …” is often those close to us who are uncomfortable with the changes we wish to make in our lives. They would have us maintain the status quo and not rock the boat. But in order to “grow and change” we must often get out of the boat. Surely, if the Ruach HaKodesh is nudging us to fulfill a Tikkun Olam mitzvah, we must be bold and stout-hearted in our efforts to “connect with that which has no bounds.” Thank you for sharing the wisdom and inspiration of “The Inside Story on Passover.” Chag Sameach! Reply

Brenda Toronto, Canada March 24, 2013

We strive to rise above our limited senses that force us to focus on ourself as a separate being. Strong desire and effort from us together will signal the Upper Light to help us cross the tremendous barrier of self absorption. Then we will pass over into the spiritual world where we exist as a harmonious interconnected unit. Reply

Lois CA March 24, 2013

Thank you for this wonderful wisdom. It fills me with hope, wakes me up with the reminder of limitless potential and possibilities.
Happy Passover. Reply