Are the lights out?

“…I will bring you out from under the burdens (sivlote) of Egypt…(Exodus 6:6)

The Gerrer Rebbe points out that the word “sivlote” doesn’t only mean burdens – it can also imply tolerance. The Hebrew word “savlanute” means patience. He takes the verse to mean that Hashem will deliver us from being tolerant of our situation in Egypt.

The people of Israel had gotten used to their slavery in Egypt – it became normal for them. They had built up a tolerance for it. Because of this, they had forgotten what it was like to be free and ceased to long for redemption.

The Baal Shem Tov used to say that the worst exile is when we don’t even realize that we are in exile – don’t realize that we’re no longer in the light as we walk in darkness.

The first step toward liberation is coming to recognize that we are enslaved and to refuse to accept that reality as normal or acceptable. It is only then that we will take the appropriate steps toward freedom.

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