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When Private Affects Public

....Torah, Jews, and Yiddishkeit in general, as has often been discussed before, are not separate things, in that a Jew commits himself to Torah from time to time, or at certain times, and lives accordingly; but they are all one thing.

In other words : In every detail of his being, both in regard to his body and his soul, as well as in all details of his daily life, a Jew must be permeated with Torah and Yiddishkeit.

One aspect of this concept is: Just as the Torah embraces the whole world, and as our Sages of blessed memory expressed it, namely, that the Torah is the Divine "blueprint" of the whole Creation with all its particulars, so also a Jew, even as an individual, through his Torah- true Jewish living, has an impact on the whole world. This means that a Jew must endeavor, and can indeed to and accomplish much, to the end that not only he himself, but also the world at large should attain perfection.

This he accomplishes both directly and indirectly - through a full and all-embracing Torah-life, thereby showing a living example of what should be a man's conduct in the daily life, thus eventually becoming a "light of the nations" - to illumine and guide the life-path of all the nations of the world.

Realizing how much his personal conduct in the daily life affects his own perfection, and that of his family, and of the whole Jewish people, and ultimately that of the whole world, it gives him special courage and powers to overcome all difficulties. For, of what significance can one's difficulties be in comparison with accomplishment of such scope and magnitude?

If, in various periods in the past, one had to look for, and discover, the specific attribute of a Jew as "light of the nations," it had to be openly and clearly brought out in the time of the "birth" and beginning of the Jewish people - "when Israel came out of Egypt," in a manner which should reach all nations, and in a matter which encompasses their whole life.

At that time, Jews were completely surrounded, swallowed as it were, by the non-Jewish world, and as the Torah declares: "To take out a nation from the "inside" of a nation" from the midst of a mighty nation engulfing all nations.

Then came the first Divine commandment, addressed to the whole Jewish people, and to each individual, at the very beginning of the month of Geulo, Rosh Chodesh Nissan: "Withdraw (from idolatry) and take unto you a lamb for your families and offer the Passover (sacrifice). "

The commandment was to take a lamb which was the idol of Egypt, where - idolatry was the basis of the whole way of life, as in the whole world, and to abolish this idolatry.

This was to be done openly and demonstratively so that everybody should know and ask questions about it; and the Jews did explain what it was all about.

In this way it was also impressed upon the Jews, and through them (as the "light of the nations") upon all the nations, that true Geulo, liberation from physical enslavement, is dependent upon liberation from spiritual enslavement.

Reflecting deeply on the content of the festival of Pesach, each year with the arrival of the days of preparation for Pesach, and especially during the days of Pesach itself, which "you shall celebrate as an everlasting ordinance, seven days," an observance lasting through all the seven days of the week, thus embracing the total life of a Jew in every situation in which he finds himself - It refreshes and intensifies, all the details of Yetzias Mitzraim which a Jew has to realize in actual life.

The gist of it is: Withdraw, which - in the line of "turn away from evil" - means: To reject each and every idolatry, particularly the one that is dominant in one's time and place.

And take unto yourselves, which - in the line of "and do good" - means: Regardless of what one's way of life was heretofore, it is time to set out on a new road, the road of true freedom, namely, the way of the Torah and Mitzvoth (engraved - on the Tablets - read "freedom - - through the Tablets"), and to do this openly and with pride, with a raised arm, so that it will have the profoundest impact on the world, thus being the "light of the nations."

The actual experience of Yetzias Mitzraim in the daily life leads to personal Geulo, the ability to overcome and liberate oneself from all difficulties which hinder that attainment of one's personal perfection; and the personal Geulo, becomes a prelude to, and part of, the general Geulo, the complete true Geulo of the whole Jewish people, when also the whole world will attain its true perfection, both in the area of withdraw - "to remove all idolatries from the earth," as well as in the area of take unto you - bringing about the fulfillment of the prophecy, "The nations shall go by your light, "When "G-d will shine forth on you, and His glory on you will be seen."

And in fulfillment of the prayer of David, King of Israel, the "Sweetener of the Songs of Israel," uttered in behalf of all Jews and every Jew: "O, G-d, make haste to deliver me - to help me, make haste, O G-d, " With the coming of our Moshiach very soon indeed.

With blessing for a Kosher and Joyous Pesach,

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