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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


" ........................and they became disgusted because of the Israelites. (1:12)

The slavery of the Israelites are now beginning to take effect.The Torah testifies that the Israelites have become disgusting in the eyes of the Egyptians. A question can be asked, what is the cause of this disgust? I would like to propose the following original answer, bezrat Hashem, as follows:The Egyptians are in actuality becoming disgusted with their own immoral lives as compared to the Israelites. The Israelites are a nation coming with a strong tradition of righteousness inherited from their holy forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They are now multiplying and expanding in Egypt, and are becoming a visible component in Egyptian society. Yet the Israelites are different and unique in terms of their moral standards. This is precisely what is so confusing to the Egyptians. The Israelite's moral lifestyles are blatantly challenging The Egyptians. The Egyptians can possibly now react in one of two ways, either change their ways and become moral like the Israelites, or try to somehow eliminate the strong Israelite presence. Instead of changing for the better, the Egyptians choose to subjugate the Israelites with slavery in order to subdue their increasingly moral influence. The Egyptians had an opportunity to change their ways, yet chose to adhere to a lifestyle of immorality. A tremendous lesson can be learned about ourselves and how we respond to changes for the better. For instance, how would we respond when confronted by a person who might be more righteous in comparison to ourselves ? Do we learn from his or her example for the better, or do we try to give excuses in order to avoid making the neccesary changes for spiritual growth and improvement ? The Egyptians chose the latter path. By enslaving the Israelites, the Egyptians thereby tried to belittle them as means to thwart the positive and moral influence of the Israelites. The Egyptians were surely disgusted, yet primarily in themselves. Have a good Shabbos


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