Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

Download print

Pesah- Unity as a Prerequisite to Redemption

There is a famous tradition that before the Exodus from Egypt, a civil war of sorts broke out among the Egyptians. The firstborns heard of Moshe’s warning that they would be killed by a plague, and they demanded that Beneh Yisrael be released, so their lives would be spared. When their demands were rejected, they took up arms and waged war against the leadership. Many Egyptians died in the ensuing conflict.

Rav Yehezkel Landau of Prague (author of Noda Bi’yehuda, 1713-1793), in his Talmud commentary ("Selah"), reflects upon this episode, and cites the Gemara’s teaching that Beneh Yisrael’s condition is inversely proportional to that of the gentiles. When the Jewish People decline, the other nations rise; and when we rise, our enemies decline. Rav Landau thus deduces that if the Egyptians were embroiled in deadly conflict in the days before the Exodus, this must mean that Beneh Yisrael had achieved perfect unity. If our enemies were torn apart by strife and discord, then necessarily, our nation was united, living together peacefully.

Rav Landau adds that this unity is a vital prerequisite for redemption. Beneh Yisrael needed to achieve peace and unity in order to be worthy of being freed from Egypt. And this is true of our current exile, as well. In order to earn our long-awaited redemption, we need to transcend our differences, forgive one another, and build cohesion and peaceful relations with all our fellow Jews. Rav Landau writes that this is why Eliyahu Ha’nabi will be sent to us before the arrival of Mashiah, as the famous prophecy of Malachi (3:23) foretells: "Behold, I am sending Eliyahu the prophet to you before the arrival of the great, awesome day of G-d…" One of Eliyahu’s responsibilities at that time will be to bring us together, to create peace and harmony among the Jewish People so we will be worthy of, and prepared for, our final redemption.

The Maharal of Prague (Rav Yehuda Loew, 1520-1609) made a similar comment in explaining the Halacha requiring that the Korban Pesach be roasted whole, rather than cut into pieces. This represents the "wholeness" of the Jewish People, that we are called upon to come together and form a single, cohesive entity in order to earn our redemption.

Hacham Baruch Ben-Haim often cited the Rabbis’ teaching that when the Jews are united, and live together peacefully, the Satan has no power to cause us harm, even if we worship idols. The prophet Hoshea (4:17) says, "Habur Asabim Efrayim, Hanah Lo," which can be read to mean that even if Efrayim – a reference to Am Yisrael – worships "Asabim" – "idols," the Satan leaves them alone ("Hanah Lo") if they are united.

As we celebrate our redemption from Egypt, let us learn and apply this lesson, that unity is a vital prerequisite for redemption. Let us make a special effort to dispense kindness and show respect to all our fellow Jews, even those who are different from us, so we can be worthy of our final redemption, speedily and in times, Amen.

Related Parasha
Parashat Shemini: The Lesson of the Para Aduma - 2022 Year
Parashat Shemini: Caring for Our Sacred Soul - 2021 Year
Parashat Shemini in Year of Pandemic 5780|2020- Inaugurating the Heavenly Altar - 2020 Year
The Exodus and the Process of Spiritual Healing - 2020 Year
Parashat Shemini- Sacrificing for Misvot - 2019 Year
Parashat Shemini: The Inherent Value of Preparation - 2018 Year
Parashat Shemini: Crying for the Sons of Aharon - 2017 Year
Shabbat HaGadol- The Great Message of Springtime - 2016 Year
Parashat Shemini: The Death of Nadab and Abihu - 2016 Year
Parashat Shemini: Shame - 2015 Year
Pesah- The Love Affair Between G-d and His People - 2015 Year
Parashat Shemini: Humility and Acceptance - 2014 Year
Parashat Shemini: Understanding Humility - 2013 Year
Pesah: Achieving True Freedom - 2013 Year
Parashat Shemini: Nadab and Abihu - 2012 Year
Pesah- Earning Redemption, Then and Now - 2012 Year
Parashat Shemini- Having Trust in the System - 2011 Year
Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Shemini - 2010 Year
Shabbat Morning Class - Parasha Shemini - 2010 Year
Parashat Vayeseh- Beware the “Laban Syndrome”
Parashat Toldot: Hard Work and Effort
Parashat Hayeh-Sara: Shidduchim and G-d’s Angel
Parashat Vayera- Lot’s Delayed Escape From Sedom
Parashat Lech Lecha- Obeying Hashem’s Commands
Parashat Noah- Teaching With Passion and Conviction
Parashat Bereshit: The Light Will Shine
Succot: Celebrating Hashem’s Love
Rosh Hashana- A Time to Stop Making Excuses
Parashat Vayelech: Transforming the Curse Into a Blessing
Parashat Ki-Tabo: Harnessing Our Innate Creative Drive
Parashat Ki-Teseh: Emuna and Honesty
Parashat Shoftim- Judging Ourselves
Parashat Re'eh: True Passion for Torah
Parashat Ekeb- Reaping the Fruits of Our Misvot
Page of 66
976 Parashot found