So you're in the office, on the highway, or maybe even in contemplative prayer, and it hits you: Some area of your life isn't working.

So you resolve to do better.

That sounds good, except that the resolution doesn't materialize in actual behavior modification.

But why not? Why is change so difficult?

Maybe it's because we're ingenious at outsmarting ourselves.

The Exodus saga is also a personal narrativeWhen you feel dissatisfaction with your personal status quo, and can even sense an inclination toward self-betterment, then it's easy to feel good about your introspective honesty.

Now you can pat yourself on the back and continue on, sans change.

Why? Because, often, we don't really want to change.

Ancient Jewish texts describe this problem as a "Pharaoh Syndrome."

The Exodus saga – with the Jews seeking liberty from the enslaving Egyptians – is also a personal narrative. It depicts my/your continuous struggle for freedom from our personal "Egypts" (impediments to actualization): our fears/character flaws/inaccurate perceptions etc.

And, of course, the primary blockage to liberation is...Pharaoh; he of the – Scripturally-described – "hardened heart."

What does it mean to have a hard heart?

Pharaoh understood that his actions were self-destructive and bringing ruin upon his country. He even fleetingly agreed to stop the madness. But he couldn't finalize change. Why? Because his heart wouldn't allow his recognition to translate into behavior modification.

He knew what needed to be done, but he couldn't "close the deal."

This is the internal Pharaoh, stubbornly disregarding logical recognitions as it clings to self-destructive behavior.

Recognize him?

So, whence the salvation?

Moses, of course.

Moses is described in our Scripture and tradition as a man of total commitment. Brilliant as he was, he didn't guide his life by intellect alone. He deeply felt a profound, super-rational relationship with the Divine, and that's what guided his behavior.

The "Moses method" is a matter of selfless commitmentThe most elemental relationships are super-rational. After all, is a parent's commitment to a child purely rational? Should a child's commitment to parents be purely logic-based?


Mobilizing our inner Moses means selflessly committing ourselves to our highest image, the vision of who G‑d created us each to be. The "Moses method" is a matter of selfless commitment, not logical calculation. This can't be challenged by the Pharaoh Syndrome, which prevents the expression of our logical resolutions.

Simply put: The Moses method is a much deeper expression of self, and it's "working a different wavelength."

Here's the bottom line: Sometimes, life's richness is reached when we can step beyond the limitations of the mind, following the soul's lead and expression.

So the next time you resolve to change your behavior, see it as a part of your commitment to G‑d, see it as an exercise of your relationship with your Destiny, see it as an expression of your very reason for existence.

Then see if excuses can block your way.

Pharaoh couldn't.