“On the tenth of the month, every man is to take a lamb... guard it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then slaughter it. . .”

-Bo 12:3-6

This is the mitzvah of the Pesach-offering. The lamb was to be kept in the Jewish homes for several days to arouse the curiosity of the Egyptians who worshipped it as their idol. The Jews were to tell them explicitly and fearlessly, that they intended to slaughter the lamb on the fourteenth of Nissan. This, of course, put the courage and faith of the Jewish people to the test.

The redemption from Egypt happened by virtue of the Jewish people rising to the challenge with great fortitude and mesirat nefesh (readiness for self-sacrifice). Our sages thus relate that before that day the Jews had been devoid of mitzvot. They were, in fact, acculturated to the Egyptian lifestyle. G‑d thus provided them with the mitzvah of the Pesach-offering. In the merit of this mitzvah, and the mesirat nefesh required for its fulfillment, they were redeemed from Egypt.

The prophet says, “As in the days of your going out of Egypt, I will show [the people] wondrous things” (Michah 7:15). This means that the exodus from Egypt is a paradigm for the future redemption by Moshiach.

When the Torah offers an example or a model, the analogy is precise, corresponding in all details. This applies in our case as well: the conditions of faith, fortitude and mesirat nefesh, which brought about the exodus from Egypt, will do the same for us and redeem us from our present galut.

Thus, just as the exodus from Egypt resulted from fortitude, inner strength, faith and mesirat nefesh, so, too, the Messianic redemption will come about by our acting with such vigor and mesirat nefesh.

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Just as all other mitzvot, the mitzvah of ahavat Yisrael (love of Israel), too, must be fulfilled with determination and intent. After all, this mitzvah is the fundamental principle of the entire Torah. It is therefore incumbent upon us to draw our fellow Jews closer to Torah and the observance of mitzvot. One should do this persistently, and should not lose heart when the efforts do not appear to yield the desired effect. Do not be impressed by seemingly antagonistic reactions. The perceived antagonism actually proves that the person addressed is affected. Thus, continue with vigor and conviction until he becomes receptive.

To be sure, in order to be heard one must speak gently and with composure, but with vigor nonetheless. When not successful at first, the fault lies not in the other but within the speaker. For words that spring from the heart will surely penetrate the heart. The listener is a good person, but because your words did not “come from the heart,” that is why “they did not penetrate the heart.”

By approaching our task with vigor and mesirat nefesh, without being distracted and intimidated by the world around us, any opposition and hostility will dissipate, and thus one hastens the Messianic redemption.