The glorious end to the years of slavery in Egypt is related in the Parshah of Beshalach. Pharaoh dreamed of annihilating the Jewish people by a two-pronged attack: To physically destroy a portion of the people, and to actively promote the assimilation of the remainder, thereby effectively eliminating their Jewish identity, G‑d forbid.1 Pharaoh's evil dream was forever swept away in the waters of the Red Sea.

In every generation, "Pharaohs" arise who share the evil hope of the ancient Egyptian monarch. In our own generation, Hitler, may his name and memory be erased, decimated the number of Jewish people by one-third, annihilating six million of our people physically, and destroying many of our spiritual institutions. Many of our people have structured their lives around the principle "Never again"; but they channel this powerful feeling into combating only one prong of Pharaoh's attack — the physical. Incredibly, they fail to realize that there is another, equally effective kind of decimation of Jews; it is assimilation, the second arm of ancient Pharaoh's attack. It has destroyed the identity of perhaps one million Jews in recent years in the U.S. and elsewhere, and the trend threatens to continue.

In a sense, all of us, regardless of age, are young; we have tens of useful years before us. Since six million of our people have been lost, we have a special task — to accomplish the work that they would have done. Every one of Israel counts. No Jew is expendable. In our daily life, as the survivors and inheritors of the Torah-nation, we must use our strength to add to the elements of goodness in the world, and through this we will gain a life of happiness and harmony — which can only be achieved through a life of Torah and mitzvot. This is an obligation that rests upon every Jew. Furthermore, G‑d has given each of us the power to carry this through successfully.2