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The tribe that was not enslaved - Shemot

Thursday, 7 January, 2021 - 7:57 am

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Did you think that the entire Jewish people was enslaved in Egypt? You are wrong. Pharaoh was a civilized person and respected spiritual matters. He knew that every nation needs its leaders and its sages. Therefore, he did not enslave one of the Twelve Tribes, the Tribes of Levi, and let them free to study and teach.

But according to Pharaoh, the mandate of those sages was very limited.

When Moses and Aharon, from the Tribe of Levi, went to ask Pharaoh to free the Jewish people, Pharaoh dismissed them, saying: “"Why, Moses and Aaron, do you disturb the people from their work? Go to your own labors." (Exodus 5:4)

This is an ideological disagreement. Moses and Aharon demand freedom for everyone, so that all Jews can serve G-d properly. Pharaoh refuses. He argues that it is enough for the Tribe of Levi to study and serve G-d. As if he was telling them: “You, Moses and Aharon, go back to your books and do not interfere with matters that do not concern you.” In other words, yes, spiritual leaders are important, but they should not have influence outside the synagogue.

Moses and Aharon did not agree with Pharaoh and thanks to them, we are all here, free Jews. A people where spirituality, religion and study do not belong only to the leaders, but to each one of us.

It is not enough for the rabbi to pray; we need to pray as well. It is not enough for the Yeshiva students to study; we need to study as well. It is not enough for wealthy families and organizations to do philanthropic work; we also need to help our fellow people with the means that we do have.

We cannot leave the responsibility to the leaders and the rabbis. We all have a responsibility for the Judaism. Let us be free and active Jews.

Shabbat Shalom,


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