Joseph, the Kabbalists tell us, wanted to raise the Egyptians to a higher spiritual and moral plane. So he arranged that they be circumcised.

That way, perhaps the exile destined upon his people would be shortened.

The plan backfired. Rather than alleviating the Egyptian exile, Joseph empowered the Egyptians to oppress his people yet more viciously.

Joseph believed he could shortcut the Egyptian exile. We sometimes delude ourselves that we can hot-wire our own darkness.

We imagine we can bring thousands more to Torah, if we just would compromise with electronics on Shabbat.

Or that we could achieve so many more mitzvahs, if we just would bend the rules of kosher food and modest dress.

But, as with Joseph, in the long run, these plans end up only feeding the darkness more.

Our job is to illuminate the world in the way of Torah. Torah is light in all its ways. So if Torah does not take you down a path, you know with certainty that it is not a path of light.

Instead, go in the ways of Aaron, who “loved all people and drew them towards the Torah.”

Don’t drag the Torah down to the people. Draw the people up to the Torah.

Likutei Sichot vol. 1, pg. 98. Pri Etz Chaim, Sha’ar Chag HaPesach, 6.​