The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory, fervently encouraged all Jewish children to study and commit to memory twelve verses culled from every area of Torah wisdom and literature. Each passage – Infinite wisdom condensed – was thoughtfully selected with children in mind, and presents a fundamental lesson for a Jew’s daily service of G-d in a clear and concise way, that can be contemplated and discussed anywhere. The Lubavitcher Rebbe was one Jewish leader who had full confidence in the power of youth to make incredible positive impact, and to inspire and teach their friends, too! Hashem believes in YOU to be an ambassador of light, and invites you to become a soldier in His army, with a mission to increase goodness and holiness wherever you go… and reciting the Twelve Torah Pessukim is a fantastic place to start! Come on a journey with me, as I too learn these timeless citations alongside their inner meaning, then how we can apply and take them to heart!
Note from the author: When it comes to making a general statement about people, although I often tend to make pronoun-references in the masculine form (e.g. him, his, he, etc.), please bear in mind the concepts discussed are equally relevant to girls and women.
“B’CHOL DOR V’DOR CHAYAV ADAM LIROS ES ATZMO KE’ILU HU YATZA MIMITZRAYIM – IN EVERY GENERATION A PERSON IS OBLIGATED TO SEE HIMSELF AS IF HE PERSONALLY HAD GONE OUT OF EGYPT!” (Talmud, Pesachim 116B)
The passage of over three millennia makes the Exodus from Egypt no less relevant. Had our ancestors not been redeemed, we’d still be slaves; “Lo es avoseinu bilvad ga’al Hakadosh Baruch Hu, ela af osanu ga’al imahem – Hashem didn’t redeem our ancestors alone, but us too He redeemed with them” (Pesach Haggadah). Redemption starts with the children, whom after leaving Egypt were first to recognize G-d at the Sea before any of their elders, exclaiming, “Zeh Keili – This is my G-d;” all “in the merit of righteous women,” the Jewish mothers who trained them to know Hashem. Likewise shall it consummate today: as Golus and Geulas Mitzrayim set a precedent for the times now, we need just reflect on what led to Redemption, and this will teach us what our conduct must be to usher in the Ultimate Redemption. A child will beseech his parents to help him positively affect his friends, and he will encourage them to also touch their sphere of influence to lead more G-dly lives, creating a ripple effect bringing Moshiach and welcoming Hashem to be familiar in the world again. Remembering Yetzias Mitzrayim will inspire good resolutions, as we relish and utilize our liberty to best serve G-d in His holy army, rather than the negative inclination(s) and principles, Paroh’s representatives, which still try to enslave and degrade us. A Jew must live in a constant unfettered state, which indeed is a struggle; but G-d’s delivering us from Egypt empowers us to repeat history universally and intrapersonally, every single day and moment. We need to break free of an internal (“hapnimi”) Golus – negative thoughts and emotions, addictions, stifling of growth – and just as Yetzias Mitzrayim entailed battle, G-d’s strong hand and outstretched arm, we must fight tooth and nail against it with just as much tokef (vigor), with Torah and Mitzvos as our weapons. Conducting ourselves according to Hashem’s will – a structure for life – brings military success, overwhelming the opponent and the distractions thrown our way. Don’t be passive, but wage war, and thrust them into the sea, where they will be washed away, leaving no reminder or desire to regress from the height you’ve achieved. We went from being slaves to Paroh to becoming Tzivos Hashem, legions of the Infinite; we were given a new life, and will leave all the darkness and self-limitation behind. “B’chol dor v’dor;” it’s in our hands today to bring on the dawn!