Shemot: Chapter 2

"The word of Hashem was"


From Rabbi Shimon's discourse on "The word of Hashem was," we learn that the word hayah is repeated because the first time it refers to the exile in Egypt and the second time to the Babylonian exile. Rabbi Shimon reinforces Ezekial's role as a faithful prophet in his comparison of the Babylonian and the Egyptian exiles. The Babylonian captivity, we learn, caused far more pain and suffering for the children of Israel than the Egyptian exile. The children of Israel were able to endure the exile in Egypt patiently because they were familiar with the suffering of their father, the righteous Jacob. However, the Babylonian exile brought suffering to the point of despair, and they came to believe that God had deserted them. As a result, they were pitied in heaven and on earth, and God called His entire celestial army together and sent them to be with the children of Yisrael in captivity. When they arrived, the spirit of Prophecy descended on Ezekial. He announced his vision to the children of Israel, but they did not believe him. Thus, he was compelled to reveal his entire celestial vision to them. At this, their joy and love for God returned. This is why Ezekial revealed the formatting whole of his vision - with the permission of God.


When we choose to walk the spiritual path, our moments of hurting and sorrow are mercifully brief. If, however, one indulges his own self-seeking desires, then suffering is intensified and prolonged. The Light cast through this particular narrative ends our personal and global exile. The tears that have flowed throughout history until today are dried up, as the Heavens open to reveal the warming rays of the Creator. Upon the merit of Jacob, whose magnificent soul encompasses all humanity, we rejoice as our redemption is actualized through this awesome Book of Splendor.