Shemot: Chapter 39

"For a slave when he becomes king"


Rabbi Yehuda begins the discussion by interpreting the "For a slave when he becomes king," explaining that it refers to Egypt, whom God despises more than any other nation, and Ishmael, who torments and persecutes Yisrael for their Faith. Following this, we learn of an incident involving Rabbi Yehoshua, who saw a meeting between a Jew and an Arab with his son. The Arab told his son to insult the Jew and spit in his face; however when the boy grabbed the Jew's beard, Rabbi Yehoshua prayed to the Patriarchs and the earth opened up and swallowed the Arabs.


Everyone has two aspects within their nature - selfish desire, also known as the Evil Inclination; and a will to share, or the Good Inclination. The soul's desire to impart is known by the code word "Yisrael." Our selfish impulses are termed "Egypt" or "Ishmael."

When we, as individuals, allow our egocentric urges to dominate our life, we end up treating others with unkindness, intolerance, and cruelty. The negative energy this creates arouses the dark side in our Arab brothers, which, in turn, leads to hatred toward the Children of Yisrael. Moreover, these negative traits disconnect us from the Light that permeates the Upper World. When we resist our selfish impulses, we connect to Light and illuminate all existence. This Light nourishes our Arab brothers and arouses love for Yisrael. This, and only this, ends the conflict and uproots the hatred that has long existed between Muslims and Jews.

Our gentle reading of these verses swallows up all our evil tendencies and impulses. We arouse Light and Love within all Arabs as the Light banishes these negative qualities from our core being. Each word we read generates harmony, tolerance, and true love among all the souls of humanity and between our own body and our soul.