In the midst of Moshe’s famous encounter with G-d at the burning bush, Hashem reveals to him the purpose of the upcoming exodus: “After you take the nation out of Egypt, You shall all serve me on this mountain [you shall receive the Torah].

The Hebrew letters forming the word Mitzraim (Egypt) are the same as those forming the word Maitzarim (limitations or restrictions), the only difference between them lying in their respective pronunciations. Thus, Torah tells us, freedom from Egypt is, in a grander sense, the true freedom of the Jewish people from all that had hitherto limited and restricted it.

Every entity has its own freedom:

While the plant is free when it is afforded the opportunity to grow unrestrictedly, an animal can not be free under similar conditions; it must also be afforded the opportunity to roam without limitation.

Higher is Man: A man who is afforded all his physical needs, but not the opportunity to learn and acquire wisdom, is not free.

Different is the Jew: Endowed with a soul that is a “part of G-d’, a Jew cannot be free without the opportunity to engage in Torah and Mitzvos.; “No one is free other than he who engages in Torah and Mitzvos.” (Pirkei Avos)

(Adaptation of a letter written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.)


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