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Secret of Our Existence

During their time in Egypt, the Jewish people underwent an unprecedented population explosion. When the Jews left Egypt, the Torah says, they numbered 600,000 adult males from the ages of 20 to 60. Add in women and children, and the population was at least two million: All these descendants of just one man, Abraham: a growth rate of over a hundred million percent!

If our growth had kept the same pace, then today, 3300 years after the exodus, the Jewish people would number several billion! Unfortunately, however, we have been subject to many forms of persecution, which drastically limited our growth.

Despite everything, though, we prevailed. Nations that were formed before us or after us have been lost to the sands of time, while we have remained. How?

*

Only seven weeks after leaving Egypt, the Jewish people stood at the foot of Mount Sinai and received the Torah. G-d spoke directly to us and told us that He has chosen us to be a holy nation, to fulfill His will as written in the Torah and thus actualize the purpose for which the world was created.

And this, in essence, is the secret of our existence: the Torah. This is what protected us and enabled us to preserve our unique character. Over the generations we have been dispersed to all corners of the world and we have adapted the habits of various cultures – but never swerved from the principles of the Torah. The text of the Torah that was passed on to us from our ancestors has never changed. This is our true and immutable identity.

When the Torah was given at Mount Sinai, millions of Jews merited a direct revelation of G-d when He declared, “I am G-d Your G-d.” Unlike other religions, which are based on the reported revelation of a single person, only Judaism began with a mass revelation to the entire nation. There are over two million witnesses who saw the Divine revelation and retold the story to their children and grandchildren, who have passed it on to their descendents forever.

The Torah, every word of which is true and exact, is the secret of our existence. Throughout history the mistaken idea has been put forth, that our adherence to the Torah is the cause of anti-Semitism, and if we would only abandon its ways and become more like the gentiles around us, we would not suffer as much. This was the belief of the Hellenists, the Haskalah movement and various other philosophies over the generations. The unfortunate truth has been proven time and again: There is no way to escape irrational hatred, certainly not by turning that hatred on ourselves and abandoning our own sacred traditions. On the contrary: our adherence to the Torah is what has given us the strength and fortitude to withstand the challenges we have faced.

*

The wonderful news is that we are coming to the end of this long and tortuous path. The suffering of exile is coming to an end, and soon will be revealed to us a deeper dimension of the secret of our existence: the Torah. There are layers of meaning hidden in the Torah that we are unable to grasp at this time. Only after the Redemption will they be revealed to us.

When will this happen? According to the prophecy of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, this is expected to happen at any moment. We are imminently expecting to be completely released of any remnant of exile and to merit the true and complete Redemption. Through adding in our Torah study, especially topics of Moshiach and Redemption, and in observance of mitzvos, we will utilize well the final moments of exile and hasten the coming of Moshiach, who is already standing at our doorstep.
 

 


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