A Connection Deeper Than Natural

Translation and commentary by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky, for "The Chumash of the Lubavitcher Rebbe"

In the exodus from Egypt, G-d did not force the Jews that did not want to leave to do so, but since by choosing to remain in Egypt they denied the purpose of their existence, their lives lost meaning and had to be ended. In contrast, in the future redemption from the present exile, even those Jews who will not want to be redeemed will be taken out of exile.

The Jews of the exodus were able to choose not to be redeemed because the only connection between G-d and the Jewish people at that time was a "natural" one, similar to the natural connection between parent and child. This is as G-d told Moses to tell Pharaoh, "My firstborn son is Israel, and I am telling you to send forth My son."(Ex. 4:22-23) By exercising their free choice and opposing this connection, those Jews could override it, just as a child can rebel against its parent.

But when G-d gave the Torah, He established a connection with us that transcended the previous, natural connection. When we exercise our free will and choose to do something against our natural predilections, we thereby reveal our essence, which transcends our nature. Similarly, when G-d chose us of His own free will and gave us the Torah, He did so not because He was bound to do so by any natural connection between Him and us, but because His essence transcends this nature. He thereby rooted us in His essence, deeper than we were rooted by virtue of the natural, parent-child connection.

Therefore, it is now impossible for a Jew to really oppose his connection with G-d, since this connection has become part of his essence. Of course, he can go through the motions of opposing his own essential connection to G-d, but this is only superficial. Sooner or later, his deep, inner essence will surface, and thus he will be worthy of being redeemed.


Copyright 2001 chabad of california / www.lachumash.org

Rabbi Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky is a scholar, writer, editor and anthologist. Originally from Los Angeles, he moved to Israel in 1977, and currently lives in Jerusalem. While living in Tsfat, he was one of the three founders of ASCENT in 1983.


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