The Egyptian exile was planned to last four-hundred years. G-d shortened this period to two-hundred-ten years because of it's adverse effects on the Jewish people. Had we remained any longer, then we would have deteriorated to the degree that we would have had no chance for greatness and no chance for the redemption. Not only did G-d make the redemption, he insured that we matched up to it.
Through ordeals of wandering, servitude, and suffering, the children of Yisrael (Jacob) achieve the required degree of perfection to merit and experience their remarkable deliverance.
G-d takes an open and direct role in taking the Jewish people out of Egypt. He uses public miracles that every member of this nation of several million souls personally witnesses.
As foretold, the oppressors are severely punished and destroyed. Those who sought to extinguish the spirit of Avraham (Abraham), Yitzchak (Isaac), and Yisrael (Israel - Jacob) become object models. They are a source for instruction for the rest of Mankind. They demonstrate G-d's management and His involvement with the world.
The demonstration is sudden and obvious. The rest of our pre-Messianic history will provide a distinctly subtle demonstration of G-d's management as He maintains the Jewish people.
Many commandments in the Torah make reference to the Exodus.
The Exodus is not the end of our slavery. Rather, it is the beginning of our responsibility.
At the Revelation at Mount Sinai, G-d speaks directly to the people and provides them with the Ten Commandments. He speaks to Moshe (Moses). Every member of the Jewish people hears this communication. This demonstrates and confirms that Moses is a true prophet of G-d.
Not only do we know for certain that G-d spoke to Moshe, we also know from the Torah that his prophecies are superior to anyone else's.
From now on, anyone who comes to the Jewish people and uses the name of G-d to contradict anything said by Moshe is a false prophet.
These events are recorded and affirmed by the entire Jewish nation, which collectively experienced it.
As proof of the truth of these events, the Torah suggests that its readers inquire whether any other people have ever made such claims. (Deut.4, 32.)
The Jewish faith is based on personal experience and knowledge, not hearsay. The lessons learned are massive and intense. They need to be. They must last for thousands of years, during which the existence of an actively managing G-d will not seem to be as obvious. Several years ago in 1986 we celebrated Sinai's anniversary of thirty-three centuries.
The revelation is accompanied by dramatic and spectacular lights and sounds. They are overwhelming to the extent that the experience becomes too much for the human nervous system. At one point everyone passes out.
Several thousand Jews worship a Golden calf a mere forty days after the traumatic and impressionable display. The miraculous experiences of the Exodus also appear to be lost.
We take this as a lesson in human nature. The effects of sensation are frequently only momentary.
Today, some people try to test the existence of G-d by demanding that He make them levitate. Given this lesson in human nature, it's no wonder that they're not floating.
The push for Golden Calf was instigated by the Egyptians who joined the Exodus and then Jewish people.
Had it not occurred, then Egypt would have been our only exile. This is because the experience of Sinai brought the people to the level of Adam prior to his sin. They were at the point of immortality.
The Golden Calf was a lost opportunity for the Jewish people to short-circuit a painful history of several thousand years.
- Eagle ("I carried you on the wings of eagles" Exodus 19:4.)
- Artist conception: Tablets of the Ten Commandments
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