Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Return, wayward children!

by GYE (See all authors)

We are now in the period known as Shovavim, which is a unique and auspicious time to do Teshuvah. The word Shovavim alludes to the verse "Shuvu Banim Shovavim" which means "Return, wayward children!". The word Shovavim is made up of the first letters of the weekly portions, in which we read about the Jewish people breaking free of the bondage of Mitzrayim. The exodus is mentioned no less than 50 times in the Torah, and we are exhorted again and again by G-d to remember the day we left Eygpt. This is because the saga of our exodus from Eygpt is not just an historical antidote. Every one of us has a person bondage. Our entire life's work is to break free from this bondage and for each and every one of us to experience our own personal exodus.

There is so much to learn from the story of the exodus. It reflects the exact nature of the strong grip that the evil one has on us, and how only with miracles can we truly become free. We hope to eventually explore a bit, some of the parallels between the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt and our own personal struggles with "Mitzrayim", which comes from the word "Meitzar", meaning "distress" and "oppression", and which is also related to the word "Yetzer" meaning "instinct, impulse and urge" - which is the very nature of the the "Yetzer" Hara.