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

GYE Corp. Monday, 06 February 2012

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.

As we leave Mitzrayim (our self-will) behind, we enter the barren desert and try to let Hashem run things, for a change. But our addiction (self-will) suddenly can't deal with the new reality. How can we follow G-d into the wilderness? We have lived our entire lives on "self-will"! And so we find ourselves standing before the Yam Suf. Our addiction / self-will is chasing us from behind and we know clearly that if it catches up to us again, we are doomed to eternal servitude - and death. But in front of us stands the sea. If we enter there, we will surely drown!

And so we cry out to G-d from the depths of our hearts. "Father, I can't go back there any more, but I can't move forward either!"

Answers Hashem, "It is for this moment I have waited, my dear son. Why do you cry to me? Let go and let G-d. Trust in me completely and just MOVE FORWARD."Daber el Benai Yisrael Vi'sa'u!"

And so we enter the water until our necks, with complete faith and trust - against all our instincts, and the miracle of Kriyas Yam Suf occurs!

We see that we do not drown, after all. We are walking on "dry land" amidst the sea. We really can leave Mitzrayim! We really can give up our self-will completely!

As long as we know 100 percent that it is Hashem who is in charge, and it is Hashem who is holding us, we discover the miracle of walking on dry land amidst the sea!

And with this realization, we finally witness our "self-will" (addiction) drown forever in the waters that we thought would drown us.

And our hearts fill with true joy and we sing the Shira - "Az Yashir" in future tense, because each and every Jew will undergo this process, somehow or another. Each and every Jew will one day sing this praise to Hashem, where he finally recognizes and understands how all the suffering he underwent until now, was only to bring him to complete dependence and trust in Hashem. "Hashem ish Milchama Hashem Shemo!"

And with this newly found "G-d strength", we are able to follow Hashem into the wilderness where He is a pillar of fire and warmth in the nights (symbolizing all the hard bumps of life), and He is a Sukka of Ananei Hakavod by day... (symbolizing the good times, when we truly feel G-d's loving embrace)...

And we return to our "youthful" trust in Hashem, "Zacharti Lach Chesed Ne'urayich... Lech Tech Acharai Bamidbar..." And our loving Father protects us in the desert from all harm and "turns the rock into a pool of water, the stone to springs of water" - and feeds us Manna from the sky, one day at a time.

And now we are ready to receive Torah.

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