Friday, January 19, 2007

Pharoah in Denial

Do you ever feel a twinge of idealism, a whisper of “I can do it”?

And, do you often find that small voice is drowned out by the cacophony of “no you can’t”?

“You’re too busy/ old/ tired/ stressed to do more than just survive”, your reality-check-system tells you.

“Focus on what you’ve got to do- earn a living, provide for your family, watch your health,” it continues, “One day, when things settle down, you can stop to meditate, to soar, to engage your spirit and live your dreams.”

We’ve all been given a tremendous resource- the Jewish soul. It is alive with possibility; it strains at the bit to transcend and transform. It whispers consistently that there are greater things we can achieve.

The soul’s optimism is cut short by the Voice of Reason, “Don’t waste your time with fantasies! This is the real world and you’re stuck in it, a hamster on a wheel. Nobody has escaped it and neither will you.”

This is life in Egypt.

“Let my people go” was not simply Moshe’s challenge to Pharaoh, it is the call of every Jewish soul.

Pharaoh was in denial: “I don’t know Hashem, and I will not let the People leave!” In Hebrew, the Torah emphasizes that he said, “I don’t know Havaye (the name spelled Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey). Pharaoh was prepared to acknowledge Elokim, the name of G-d that runs Nature. He accepted that humans can engage the Creator of the natural order. He refused to accept, however, that humans can tap into a supernatural reality, represented by Havaye.

His voice echoes in our minds still today. His is the voice that cajoles us into thinking we are stuck in the rat race like everyone else. Our inner Pharaoh leaves us in denial, believing that Hashem’s message for our spiritual liberation is fantasy.

Our challenge is to silence his cynicism, and listen to our inner voice. Our objective is to believe in our innate potential- and to realize it.

The journey out of Egypt begins with a single step.

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