Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: "The meaning of the phrase, 'For I am the One who took you out of the Land of Egypt.' "


The two ways of getting out of the "narrow place"–the rising by a climbing effort and the emergence that happens when great light illumines—have to take their own time and their own course beyond time, and they are also in certain ways simultaneous.

At the same time that one is trying to rise, one can be illumined or enlightened from "within."

A person may be troubled by a temptation or a sin and manage to conquer it, but the temptation is still there; it has not really been overcome, only defeated in a specific confrontation.

On the other hand, sometimes one gets rid of a temptation for good, so it ceases to trouble one endlessly.

This is of the power of the light that comes as a gift from on high.

And it is a very tangible experience; all men have known it.

Even children are constantly overcoming their evil impulses.

How easy it is to see the effect of the light on a child for whom a coveted trifle suddenly becomes irrelevant.

Even a Tzadik in his so-called holy perfection is no more than a man for whom most of the ordinary human desires have become irrelevant.

He finds it hard to imagine an evil impulse.

The point is that the antagonist has to be entirely uprooted and not simply left behind.

That really is the meaning of the phrase, "For I am the One who took you out of the Land of Mitzraim."

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From In the Beginning by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz