Thursday, April 21, 2016

There are only two kinds of Jews...

We're about to celebrate Pesach. That's when the Jews left Egypt. 

All of them. 

Well, actually, only 20% of the Israelites made it out. A full 80% remained behind and perished in Egypt. 

Shh, don't tell anyone.We prefer to keep this uncomfortable info "in the tribe".

Who would have imagined that Moses would have such a poor response to his "Let My People Go"? We get it that Pharaoh didn't get it, but you'd think the Israelites would have jumped at the chance to join a leader who could turn the Nile to blood and shut off the Sun for a week. Moses should have had a cult following. 

It's the old 80/20 rule and it offers a stark insight into our people. 

There are only two kinds of Jews: Those who leave Egypt and those who don't. Pesach challenges us to confront which kind of Jew we are. 

Egypt represents every bad habit that we can't seem to shake and every unhealthy mindset we have cemented over time. Pharaoh's voice reverberates in ours head as self-doubt. We want to break out and shift gears, but we find it easier to flop back into the well-trodden path of past mistakes. 

There are only two kinds of Jews: Those who break out and those who don't.

No Moses, regardless of how compelling his presentation is, can rescue us from Egypt. Moses cannot make us let go. He can show us opportunity, he can redirect our focus, but only we can take the daunting step to change. Moses cannot take anyone out of Egypt until they are ready to leave. 

There are only two kinds of Jews: Those who take a step to leave Egypt and those who wistfully plan to one day leaving Egypt, when the circumstances are favourable. 

We can only flee Egypt when we recognize that only we can take us out of Egypt. 

In truth, there is actually only one kind of Jew. 

Jacob's great-grandchildren who lived in Egypt were not yet Jewish. Jews only came about once the Torah had been given, which was only to happen after the Exodus. Those Israelites who remained in Egypt were genetically linked to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but could choose to opt out of their spiritual connection to their ancestors. 

Most did opt out. They never became Jewish. 

Every single Jew left Egypt. Had they not left Egypt, they would not have stood at Sinai and would not have become Jews. 

Every Jew leaves Egypt. Nobody gets stuck. 

Pesach reminds us that it is our destiny to escape. Pesach challenges us to make the inevitable move sooner, rather than later.