Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “The human life cycle.”

Some people spend sixty years in Egypt and ten years in the wilderness, some spend forty years in Egypt and forty years in the wilderness, and some merit a more generous division:

They spend a short period of time in exile followed by a longer time in the redemption stage.

But on the whole, the human life cycle always adheres to this process:

There is a stage of exile, of difficulties and problems, followed by a stage of redemption, of bursting through the difficulties and the problems, and the cycle continues.

Scientists often speak of basic structures of which everything that exists in the world is merely a copy.

For example, almost all forms of matter share the same type of molecular bonds, which serve to join together the tiny particles present in any material.

Whether the material is as simple as salt or as complex as a hormone, every form of matter has a basic structure that repeats itself in other instances throughout the universe.

Correspondingly, the cycle of the Egyptian exile and the Exodus is the prototype for this central pattern that we continue to experience, both as a community and as individuals, in a variety of forms.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz