To Be Free

Choli, my dear student, who left a safe and prestigious job about a month ago so that she could develop her true desire and work with elderly people, stayed with me after the lesson of the “Grail’s Message” training program and with tears in her eyes asked me: “What can I do to silence This voice, which fills my head with doubts and fears regarding my new decision?”

I knew, of course, exactly what she was talking about. “This is the voice of Amalek”, I said, “he always comes to oppress anyone who wants to leave Egypt.” Then I went on to tell her about the Exodus from a personal point of view.

Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Hassidic movement, taught that each person has his own Egypt: a narrow place that brings him to a sense of a strait. Egypt is a place that allows only a life of survival (as Choli experienced in her previous work), but not a life of joy, freedom, and power.

The Talmud says that slavery in Egypt began with temptation. Pharaoh gathered all the people of Israel together and said to them: “Please, do my people a favor today” (without receiving a reward) and the Israelites, who saw the king making bricks, hurried to work with him all day according to their power (with great diligence).

As darkness fell, he approached and said to them, “calculate the bricks” Stand and count them. He said to them, “This is the amount you do every day from now on”. This little story teaches us that we too enter into various states of slavery out of temptation! 

Want examples? Many choose to study a profession that has nothing to do with their talents, just because of the temptation to get the recognition of their parents. Others accept a job, not because they love it, but because salary and economic security entice them. Some enter a relationship, or stay in it, not necessarily because it is the relationship they were looking for, but because of the temptation to be together and not suffer from loneliness. We are tempted to say “yes” to another credit card and are enslaved to monthly payments for products we do not necessarily need. We may also be tempted to eat a chocolate cake that we were not supposed to touch, thus remaining in the eternal bondage of diet.

But it is almost a law, that after the sweet moment of temptation, comes – sooner or later – the bitterness (Maror) of slavery. And if this phase of bitterness continues for a long time, we will probably reach the second phase of the Exodus, which can be called the cry for freedom.

The Torah says that the Israelite sighed because of the hard work “… and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage…”(Exodus 2:23) Nowadays the cry for freedom takes conscious and unconscious forms. Going to a psychologist and talking about the distress caused by this narrow place, expressing to a close friend the feeling of life in prison, crying, praying, and asking God for help to go free – all these are some of the conscious possibilities a person may express his cry. Illness and even accidents are the unconscious forms we develop, in order not to “be in Egypt anymore”. In other words, to stop and pause our automatic course of life. when the cry, the call for help, the “I can’t take it anymore” are heard – the messenger arrives.

In the story of the Exodus, it was Moses’ mission to help the Israelites get out of Egypt and reach the Promised Land. In our lives, messengers often appear to help us reach our Promised Land.

They are “ordinary” people, with no beard or staff that becomes a snake, seemingly crossing our way, but if we are attentive, sooner or later we will find out why and for what purpose they have appeared in our lives.

When we decide to go after the messenger and leave Egypt, we get to the next level: the desert. We must leave the old behind us and march in the desert day after day, hour after hour, but still without reaching the new, to our promised land.

Therefore, the Israelites often complained to Moses and asked him to bring them back to Egypt. They would rather stay in a safe prison, than dare to be free. That is why the Hasidic teachers also said that it was easier to get the Israelites out of Egypt than to get Egypt out of the Israelites. This required forty years of training, as it is not easy to change the mentality of a slave to the mentality of a free man. For this reason, when someone decides to leave his Egypt, he must know that he is facing a long and tedious process of training for freedom, and it is not something that happens in one day.

“Now I understand,” said Choli. “I think I’m in the desert right now so it’s not easy, is it? But who is Amalek? And what does it have to do with my private exodus from Egypt?”

According to the story in the Book of Exodus, Amalek was one of the nations that trail behind the Israelite at the time of the Exodus from Egypt. The same Hasidic teachers who taught the exodus from Egypt on the soul level, said that Amalek is the doubt (since the gematrical value of the two words is the same in Hebrew). Amalek attacks us in the desert and touches every person on their weak points, where his doubt and fear are greatest: “What will you live on?” You will have no money!”, “Do you really think anyone is interested in your dreams?”, “You have no university degree that suits what you want to do!”, “Many have tried before you and failed!”, ” it is impossible to live out of art!”, “If you have a family, you cannot take risks and do what you love”, “In a situation of economic crisis you cannot leave a safe job!”

“Want more examples?” I asked.

Choli laughed, “That’s exactly what I hear! So, what do you think I should do?”

I pressed my hands tightly to my ears and said, “Shut your ears and do not listen to him! The best way to fight these voices is to do something related to your mission. If, in your case, you want to incorporate violin playing into your work with seniors, take the violin and start practicing. Or open your diary and arrange meetings with nursing home managers. Think about designing the website you want, and so on. The most important thing is not to start a dialogue with Amalek because he always wins, but to do something, small or big, that is related to your vision and project.

 “And…” I added with a smile, “you can do another thing in these difficult moments of doubt.”

“What?” She asked curiously.

“Contact all the people who support you and your ideas. There is no doubt that some of them are the messengers who are in your life to accompany you during your stay in the desert, until the day you see the horizon of the Promised Land.

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