Beshalach – We Need a Spiritual Shovel

Ironically Pharaoh had to drive us out of Egypt as we were too comfortably ensconced to leave on our own initiative. Likewise, today we are so comfortable in our host societies that assimilation is at 72%. We need spiritual enlightenment to lead us out of our current dilemma. We are reading currently the unfolding story of the Exodus and discover this week that many, if not most of the Jewish people, didn’t want to leave Egypt. Even The name of the Parsha, Beshalach, (“When he sent them out…”) suggests that Pharaoh had to forcibly drive us out, – a clear implication that it was against our will. We shouldn’t however be surprised.  In our own living memory, in the 1930’s, many of the Jews of Germany refused to leave even when Hitler was elected, believing that being solid German citizens provided them with sufficient protection from the oppressor. There is also a telling spiritual counterpart to such inertia in the face of danger.  We are witnessing today assimilation at an accelerating rate. Intermarriage within the secular communities of the world is now calculated at 72% as I write. And despite living in free societies, the vast majority of Jews are opting for spiritual slavery, to stay in their personal Mitzrayim (Egypt) , rather than find liberation living their truth as Jews. Just as we needed a push to exit Egypt, so do we, living comfortably in the west, need a ‘shove’ from behind to emancipate spiritually. But rather than being ‘kicked out’ of our counties of residence, Moshiach will provide sufficient insight and Jewish enlightenment that we will all surge willingly to Eretz Yisrael “on the wings of eagles”.