Shemot: Chapter 22

"And the daughter of Pharaoh came down"


The opening discussion of the title verse reveals that it contains an allusion to the attribute of Judgment that comes down to bathe in the blood of Yisrael when they separate from and neglect the Torah. Rabbi Yehuda then speaks about the importance of repentance and prayer, especially prayer accompanied by weeping. The Shechinah stands over Yisrael and argues their merits. When She saw the children of Yisrael repent before God with tearful supplications, She had great compassion for them and considered them as gentle and good in contrast to the other stubborn and hard-hearted nations.

Rabbi Yitzchak then reiterates the concept that the redemption of Yisrael depends on weeping. We learn that the tears Esau wept before his father over his lost birthright brought Yisrael into captivity. When the force of Esau's tears is exhausted, the redemption of Yisrael will arrive.


When a man succumbs to his Evil Inclination - his impulsive, reactive desires that gratify himself alone - he severs his connection to the Light of the Creator. The result is darkness and judgment.

We learn that genuine tears of remorse can atone for our failures and our misdeeds incited by our own selfishness, because the Zohar states that "there is no gate that these tears cannot enter." As we awaken remorse now, tears of Light flow to the highest supernal dimensions to wash away harsh judgments, severe verdicts, and deadly decrees set forth against us and against the world. These tears now soften even the hardest of hearts. They soften our own hearts and the hearts of our enemies.

The love and tears that a mother sheds for her children are, perhaps, the strongest force of energy and love in the universe. Rachel, the mother of all the world's children, weeps for us now, for our pain, for our suffering, for our self-imposed exile from the Creator. Upon her merit, we are redeemed, everlastingly. The love of a mother stirs and inspires. As we draw this unconditional flow of love to our souls now, we are enlightened and thus motivated to emulate constantly the ways of our Creator, which is to express unending care and concern for others. Our exile is ended. Tears of joy are the only tears we shall ever know.