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The Coiled Spring

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Keep the month of spring, and observe a Passover to the Lord your G-d; for in the month of spring G-d took you out of Egypt

Deuteronomy 16:1

Observing the bare branches and the frozen earth of winter, one sees not a sign of life and growth; the juices of nature appear to have run dry. But come spring, the pent-up energies break the surface. Suddenly, practically before our eyes, a seemingly dead world becomes bedecked in green and vitality.

Obviously, the lifeless gray of winter was a deceptive front. Behind a veneer of inertia, the sap of life had coursed along, garnering its energies, rejuvenating its potency. Winter turns out to have been a retreat for the sake of advance, a recoiling only to spring forth life and renewal.

… for in the month of spring G-d took you out of Egypt

For more than two centuries, the people of Israel languished under the yoke of Pharaoh and sank deeper and deeper in the morass of Egyptian paganism and depravity. The seedling planted by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob appeared to have atrophied. Generations of slavery had deadened their hearts, numbed their minds, and stifled all outward signs of spiritual life.

Then came the Exodus. In a flash, a clan of slaves blossomed into a free and holy people. In just 49 days, two centuries of repression were undone and a nation of ex-idolaters stood at Mount Sinai ready and worthy to be elected as G-d’s chosen people and serve as a guiding light for all of humanity.

The spiritual winter of Egypt was now shown to have harbored and nurtured the Jewish soul below its frozen surface, forging it in the smelting pit of exile and endowing it with the fortitude to fuel Israel’s birth and growth as a nation.

Keep the month of spring…

In every individual’s life there are patches of barrenness and fruitlessness. Yet to turn one’s back on these seemingly “dead” periods is to forgo the most precious resources that life can yield. Buried beneath these fallow surfaces lie the germinating seeds of renewal, awaiting discovery and utilization as the springboard for the attainment of otherwise unimaginable heights.

Based on a letter by the Rebbe, Iyar 1, 5711 (May 7, 1951)[1]
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[1]. Igrot Kodesh, vol. IV, pp. 267-268.

 

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