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Whom Did You Call a Conservative?

יציאת מצרים
ציור: מלכות וקסברגר

Another look at the Exodus of Egypt and at ourselves. This is what Tal Lesser wrote: "In my youth, Aviv Gefen (a famous Israeli singer) used to scream at his concerts: 'Do you want change?' The answer to Aviv's question is usually 'No'. We do not want change. We are comfortable the way things are. Egypt was THE symbol of stability and regularity: the Nile always flows without being dependent on rain, the slavery of the Children of Israel was a law of nature, the dynasty of Pharaoh existed since forever, and even after death the Pharaohs were embalmed for eternity. The Exodus of Egypt gives new hope to humanity: we can change things and be changed ourselves; we can break the closed-circle of the law of nature that only the fittest survive; we can let the light of HaShem penetrate reality and light it with a moral light; we can do Teshuvah (repent).

"There is a reason why we read in the Portion about the Plagues. Indeed, it was possible to leave Egypt without changing nature. But the unchangeable Nile turns into blood, the stable land is suddenly filled with lice, and the sun which always shines suddenly disappears. These are emergency situations whose purpose is to somewhat undermine our stability, our fixation, our belief that 'this is how it is and this is how it will always be, and there is nothing we can do about it'. There is what to do about it. Those who are faithful to the way of the Torah are used to being called 'conservatives' or 'traditionalists. But in fact, the Torah is a way of breaking the natural boundaries, of a constant striving for change."


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