Friday, January 12, 2007

Who's your boss?

Remember the story of the Jewish slaves in Egypt? Do you ever feel like you're slaving away?

We know that the Torah is not a history book, but a book of lessons. In fact, the first Chabad Rebbe recommended that we "live with the times" by analyzing the weekly Torah portion. Each week's story is the story of our lives- and usually perfectly timed.

Tomorrow's portion tells us how the Children of Israel became slaves in Egypt. Read a little closely, and you'll see that their main job was to build cities for Pharaoh. Even without the taskmasters, the lashes and the severe punishments, building cities for Pharaoh is not a job for a Jew. It's the antithesis of everything we stand for.

Jews were put on earth to build a home for G-d. He endowed us with special abilities, to transform the mundane world into a holy place.

Every Mitzvah that we do is a brick in that Divine structure. We become fulfilled each time we lay another spiritual brick.

Pharaoh is the Jew's nemesis. His kingdom is the whisper in our ear that life is all about the here and now; about cars and homes and salaries and designer labels. In his own words, Pharaoh announced to Moses: "I don't know G-d".

When we focus our energy solely on careers, money and prestife, we build Pharaoh-cities.

Ask yourself this question every once in the while: "Who is my boss? Do I invest my energies in realizing G-d's purpose for Creation, or do I work for Pharaoh?"

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