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Set in Motion

In this week’s Torah portion, G-d uses four expressions of Redemption: “I will take out,” “I will save,” “I will redeem,” and “I will take.”

Each of these expressions refers to a different exile. The first, “I will take out,” is a reference to the Redemption from Egypt, while the other three refer to the redemption from the Babylonian exile, the Persian exile and the Greek exile. There is also a fifth expression, “I will bring you,” which refers to the fifth and final Redemption from our current exile, Galut Edom.

G-d promises in the portion of Vaera that He will redeem us from the final exile, “And I will bring you.” When G-d promises to do a good thing, He never goes back on His promise. Since G-d has already promised us that there will be a final Redemption, we are assured that He will indeed carry it out.

According to Jewish law, if one lights a fire, even accidentally, and the fire spread out of control and caused damage, he is responsible to pay for the damage. Even if he had not anticipated the damage that this fire might cause, he is still obligated to pay. As soon as he sets the fire, he is liable for whatever results might come from it.

If this is true regarding damages, how much more so is it true for positive effects that we initiate. Once the redemption has been set in motion, it is an irreversible process; one that cannot be stopped. Since G-d began the Redemption process by taking the Jews out of Egypt, He is committed to completing it, with the true and final Redemption, after which there will be no further exiles.

Just the knowledge that the Redemption has already been put in motion, even if there are no revealed signs of it, is enough to strengthen us and allows us to contend with all the difficulties of exile. We can overcome the darkness and concealment of exile, since we know that G-d is lurking in our midst. In our generation in particular, we are already able to see the signs of the upcoming Redemption.

There is no reason for us to despair because of the hardships of exile. Our task is to keep up our strength and fortify ourselves with the power of holiness, to remove all concealments. G-d’s promise to us is an eternal source of hope and comfort, through the bleakest of exiles. G-d has redeemed us in the past and He will surely do so again in the future, just as He promised. The signs of the imminent Redemption are already here; we need only to open our eyes and realize that the Redemption is at hand.

(Based on an address of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Likutei Sichos vol. 1, pp. 125-127)

 

 


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