Shemot: Chapter 23

"And he looked this way and that"


This section discusses the episode wherein Moses kills an Egyptian who is beating an Yisrael. "He looked this way and that," we are told, to see if the Egyptian proclaimed the Divine Unity, performed any good works, or would produce a righteous son. Though wicked men often beget good sons, and these are especially precious to God since they represent light from darkness, Moses saw through the Holy Spirit that the Egyptian would not have such a son.


Darkness becomes a powerful positive force the moment it is transformed into Light, for it creates unparalleled brilliance. Light from darkness is far more luminous than Light from Light. Our most negative and wicked traits can be harnessed to change this world absolutely, bringing us endless joy the moment we own up to their existence and transform them into positive traits. Instead of feeling shame, guilt, dishonor, and disgrace over our own evil impulses; instead of denying their existence, we should immediately acknowledge them (as painful as that may be) and ask the Light to transform our evil qualities into their opposite state.

This passage uproots our negative traits, allowing them to give birth to their opposite. From evil emerges divine goodness. From selfishness is born selflessness. Greed gives way to generosity. Spitefulness engenders kindness and compassion. Our greatest weaknesses now become our greatest strengths, and the Light that sparkles uplifts all humanity. The most corrupt and sinful aspects of our society now transform, giving birth to divinity, purity, and blessings.

The negative traits within us, and the negative beings in our world that cannot be altered into positivity and goodness, are now banished forever, freeing us from their destructive influences.