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What does Yetziyas Mitzrayim and Kriyas Yam Suf have to do with us?

GYE Corp. Monday, 06 February 2012
Part 1/2 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

Every human being needs to ultimately undergo a Yetziyas Mitzrayim and Kriyas Yam Suf of sorts, sooner or later. Mitzrayim symbolizes "Self-Will", which we are all slaves to from birth, and "leaving Mitzrayim" symbolizes giving over our will to Hashem. Pharaoh symbolizes our "self-will". And he won't let us go and serve Hashem until he has "hit bottom" big time. That is why Yetziyas Mitzrayim is mentioned no less than 50 times in the Torah. This is what it's all about, folks.

With addicts, the process of Yetziyas Miztrayim is much clearer to see. If used correctly, the addiction can expedite our personal and spiritual growth to the highest levels, if we learn to view the process for what it really is.

At first, we refuse to give up our "self-will" on our own - and we let ourselves become enslaved to Pharaoh more and more. After making enough bad choices, often our "free-will" is taken away from us "vayachbed Hashem es Libo" and we no longer have the choice to simply give up the "Jewish People" to serve Hashem, no matter how smitten we feel. Hashem "hardens our (read: the addiction's) heart", for the purpose of showing His true strength. As Hashem said to Pharaoh, "For this alone I have kept you, to show you my strength..."

Until finally, when Hashem sends "Kol Magefosai el Libecha" - and we understand that we literally stand before life and death (step 1 of the 12-Steps), are we finally willing to "Give Up" our will to Hashem and let the "Jewish people" go serve their G-d (steps 2-3).

All those times that we tried to stop and couldn't - in spite of receiving Makka after Makka; all the "hardening of our hearts" that Hashem did to us - served one purpose only. We now know clearly that we can NOT do it on our own. The "hardening of our hearts" (i.e. the baffling power of the addiction - and the first nine Makkos we got), show us clearly that we are powerless to "release" the Jewish people (read: our self will) on our own. Only when that 10th and final Makka hits us and we see that major parts of us - our lives, our families and all that is precious to us, is being flushed down the toilet of our addiction - and we finally feel that we stand before life and death, are we finally able to admit defeat and let HASHEM take the Jewish people out.

At that point we are willing to admit that we can't on our own, and that only Hashem can. And so we give over our will to Hashem and let Him take over. (Step 3)

Or so we think.

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