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Please Tell Me What the Rebbe Said - Volume 1
Interpretations of the Weekly Torah Readings and the Festivals.
Based on the Talks of The Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson.


by Malka Touger
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This week's parshah tells us about the slavery of the Jewish people in Mitzrayim. But the parshah begins, V'eileh Shmos Bnei Yisrael Haboim Mitzrayma - "These are the names of the children of Israel who came into Egypt."

But even before they were enslaved, they had already entered galus. When a Jew leaves Eretz Yisrael and goes to Mitzrayim - he is in galus. He can immediately feel the difference between Eretz Yisrael and Mitzrayim.

Let's take an imaginary journey with Bnei Yisrael. They had recently arrived in Mitzrayim. We might hear one Jew talking to another.

"It sure is hot here. Doesn't it ever rain? The rain would cool off the air and clear it up a bit."

"Oh no! It hardly ever rains here in Egypt."

"No rain?! Then how do the crops grow?"

"Why, from the Nile River, of course."

"The river? Do you mean we will have to draw buckets of water from the river to water our fields? That will take forever!"

"Not at all. The Nile River overflows, and streams of water gush into long irrigation ditches which stretch out for miles and bring water to the fields. Everyone depends upon the river to grow their food."

"What a difference between this land and Eretz Yisrael! The rain which watered our fields in Eretz Yisrael came down from the heavens. We Jews look upwards to HaShem for rain. Here, the people look down into a river. They depend upon it to make their crops grow. No wonder they worship the Nile River as a god."

Life in Mitzrayim makes people feel completely dependent on the Nile River. They are always looking down toward this natural force.

That is also the way people in galus often think. But it is a mistake to feel that we are totally dependent on nature.

The truth is - and this is the what we should all believe - that HaShem controls everything, including nature. When we look up to the sky and ask HaShem for rain to water our fields, we remember that our food and our very lives depend upon Him.

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. VI, Shmos)

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