Then and Now


Then: “They baked the dough which they brought out of Egypt as matzoh cakes, since it had not risen. For they were driven our of Egypt and could not delay; neither had they prepared any provisions for themselves.”[1]

Now: “In leisure and serenity you will be redeemed; in quietness and confidence shall be your victory.”[2]

Then: “You left Egypt in haste.”[3] “The nation escaped.”[4]

Now: “You will not go out in haste, nor will you go in flight.”[5]

Then: An opportunity had presented itself and we were on the run.

Egypt had enslaved our bodies and infiltrated our souls. Then, at the stroke of midnight that first Passover eve, an overwhelming revelation of Divine truth neutralized the forces that imprisoned us both without and within. Without, Pharaoh was humbled and consented to release us. Within, we were inspired to break free of the idolatry of Egypt, to shake off the grime of two centuries of subjugation to the most depraved society on earth. But revelations tend to come and go in a flash.

Any moment, Pharaoh may change his mind for the nth time and give chase. Any moment, the pagan mores and slave mentality which still pervaded our minds and hearts may reassert themselves. We were escaping Pharaoh, and we were escaping ourselves.

Now: For thirty-three centuries we have been seeking G-d, and finding Him.

For 33 centuries we have been studying His wisdom and imparting it to the world, making the outlook, ethos and ideals of Torah an integral part of human thinking and behavior.

For 33 centuries we have been doing, thinking and feeling G-d’s mitzvos—implementing His will in our daily lives. In doing so, we have molded our nature in accordance with His desire. We have developed the world in accordance to His blueprint for creation.

Then: We had a spiritual experience.

Now: We are ready.


[1] Exodus 12:39.

[2] Isaiah 30:15.

[3] Deuteronomy 16:3.

[4] Exodus 14:5.

[5] Isaiah 52:12.


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