This week we read how G‑d took for Himself “a nation from within a nation,” the Jewish people from within the Egyptians. Moshe notes that this only happened for us. Never has one nation been taken out from within another.

Why is this detail important? What lesson can we learn for our personal lives?

Egypt in Hebrew is Mitzrayim, which is from the word maytzar, “constraint.” When G‑d took us out of Egypt, He removed us from all constraints, physical, psychological and spiritual. When we cleave to Him and His Torah, we are open and free. The only constraints we have are the ones we accept upon ourselves.

In every situation, we have the ability to be free. Even in this dark exile, where the world seems against us. Even in our personal lives, where we each have difficulties, suffering and pain.

It is our choices that express our free nature—not our predicaments. In every situation, we find a way to free our essence, our Jewishness.

Today, this seems harder than ever, as there is great temptation to be like our non-Jewish neighbors. But we have been there before, and if you try, Hashem will surely help you free yourself from your Egypt.

On a deeper level: Each of us has the ability to free ourselves from our current level and reach higher plateaus. Yesterday’s freedom is today’s Egypt. If you are not growing, you are not free. Ask yourself: How can I improve myself? How can I get closer to G‑d? Then you become free.

Finally, realize that to get closer to G‑d, you need to love his children, including those you deem less observant or more observant than yourself.

Loving each other is the key to our redemption; it is how we break the chains of this exile. Perhaps that is why it is so difficult. Nevertheless, we will overcome this as well.

May it happen soon.