I don’t get it. The Hebrews had been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years. They had suffered for their faith; generation after generation had known nothing but hard work and deprivation. A savior had finally appeared on the scene, and the 10 plagues had come and gone. Pharaoh was convinced, and finally, “the Jews were driven out of the country.”1

Driven out? Why would they need to be forced to leave the scene of their humiliation and hardship? The moment Pharaoh said “go,” you’d have thought they’d be out of there like a shot. What could possibly be soWhy would they need to be forced to leave? attractive about Egypt that some were tempted to stay there a moment longer than necessary?

Even the rank-and-file Egyptians couldn’t understand this attitude. Three plagues prior, after the hail storms, the Egyptians were already trying to separate themselves from the Hebrews. But even till the last day, some Hebrews insisted on living among Egyptians, sometimes even sharing houses with them, so that G‑d needed to “pass over” individual Hebrews on that final night of exile.


Comfort Zone

People get comfortable where they are. Their present situation becomes their reality, and they can no longer even bring themselves to envision a better tomorrow. The slave mentality takes such strong hold of their psyche that they are afraid to strike off in a new direction, preferring the devil they know to an undetermined future.

We’ve all done it. We know the steps we need to take and the habits we’ll have to break if we wish to be successful, but we don’t do it. Every time we pick up a new self-help book, the contents seem familiar in advance and we recognize the logic of following this better path forward, yet we don’t follow through. We’re stuck in our own version of slavery and unable or unwilling to cross over to the side of freedom.

These Hebrews needed to be forcibly removed from exile and set on their path to the Promised Land. They didn’t have the courage of their own convictions and needed the joint effort of Moses and Pharaoh to finally remove them from their comfortFar better days lie ahead zone.

G‑d took us out then, and He will do so again. Moshiach is coming and far better days lie ahead. We might not fully recognize how it will benefit us, but that is a function of our present slave mentality.

We can trust G‑d to keep His promise to rescue us, and we can be assured that the eventual payoff will be well worth the wait.