by Rabbi Moshe Kempinski
We read in the Passover Haggada the following words;

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.  And the L-rd our G-d brought us out from there with a strong hand
and an outstretched arm:  And if the Holy One, blessed be He, had not brought our ancestors out of Egypt,
then we (and our children and our grandchildren) would still be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt.

Is that statement neccessarily true?

We ourselves have all seen how slavery has been abolished in many parts of the world. Why should we
assume that we and our children and children's [sic] would be slaves to Pharaoh still today?  Why even assume that there would even still be a Pharaoh today?

My father, [Z"L) once taught, that had we not been taken out of Egypt with the clearly demonstrated
"Outstretched Hand" of G-d, but rather through the good graces of this or that Pharaoh, we would be
forever indebted to Pharaoh rather than to G-d.  That would be enslavement.

Such is the case with the miraculous rebirth of this nation in this land.  The difficulty with being part of a
miracle is the ease in which one can be deluded into thinking that the miracle is a product of our mortal hands.
Miracle after miracle occured throughout all of Israel's wars and many Israelis are convinced that we have
the greatest army in the world.  Miracle after miracle has occured involving the ingathering of the exiles and
some Israelis are convinced that it is occuring because we have the best government or lifestyle in the world.
Such is also the case regarding political issues, wherein politicians become convinced of their own prestige
and power.

That is, until Divine intervention disrupts the cards and reshuffles the deck.

For years we have regarded Ariel Sharon as the father of the settlement endeavour and of the "Land of
Israel" movement.  We were convinced and thereupon convinced Sharon of his importance and power.

But then the cards were reshuffled.

Now Sharon represents a great and grave threat.

The lesson is being re-learned that the miracle that is "the reborn state of Israel" is not contingent on this
leader or that one.  It is a Divine process that will continue to move forward regardless of the plans of men.

When the secular leaders of Israel decided to design an emblem for the state that would be a model of secular
experience they chose the menorah and two olive branches.  As the process will continue to unfold and
history will play itself out, they will come to realize the important significance of their choice.  The leaders
who are prone to the failure of trusting in their own power and might will suddenly realize that this emblem
that originates from a prophecy in the book of Zacharia will have become a resounding message to them all.

Zecharya 4
1)  And the angel that spoke with me returned, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.
2)  And he said unto me:  What seest thou?"  And I said:  'I have seen, and behold a candlestick all of gold,
with a bowl upon the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon; there are seven pipes, yea, seven, to the lamps,
which are upon the top thereof;  3)  And two olive-trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the
other upon the left side thereof.'  4)  And I answered and spoke to the angel that spoke with me saying:
'What are these, my lord?'  5)  Then the angel that spoke with me answered and said unto me:  'Knowest
thou not what these are?'  And I said:  'No, my lord.'  6)  Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying:
'This is the Word of the L-RD unto Zerubbabel, saying: 

'Not by might; nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the L-RD of hosts.'"

moshe kempinski
A journal of insights, stories and torah thoughts from Jerualem's Old City -  a project of Shorashim of the Old City
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