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By Rabbi Yedidiah Shapira

Our Parsha opens with the words (Num. 33:1) "These are the journeys of the children of Israel leaving the land of Egypt in their legions, under the charge of Moses and Aaron"

If the truth be told, though, only the first few journeys were "leaving Egypt", the rest were beyond the Red Sea and the borders of Egypt. Why then, do we characterize all the journeys as "leaving Egypt"?

Everything in the Torah is of present utility. In Hebrew Egypt is called "Mitzrayim" which is derived from a root that means constriction or narrowness.

All of life is a series of journeys from the constrictions force of habit and the past place upon us.

Even after we leave Egypt, proper -e.g. a negative place we should recognize that if we become satisfied with the positive place we are in and do not keep challenging ourselves to grow spiritually -this state of being becomes a an "Egypt" a narrow place, also.

G-d gives us another day because it is unique and we can journey beyond where we were yesterday. Each day we have greater potential, and yesterday's state of being is too narrow for our potential as it stands now.

But these words "These are the journeys" are also a promise -the Torah does not just direct -it empowers. On any day of our lives if we seek to make the journey - it can be done. No "Egypt" of the past has the power to stand in the way of this Divine liberating force that resides within us.

(Rabbi) Yedidiah Shapira

(Find other articles by Rabbi Yedidiah Shapira)

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