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Egypt: Back to the Future

April 24, 2011

PESACH SERMON – APRIL 19, 2011
RABBI MITCHELL WOHLBERG

Egypt: Back to the Future

Here it is, 3323 years after the exodus from Egypt, and this year once again our focus as Jews is back on Egypt. This was the year of the 5th question: what affect will the revolution in Egypt and the Middle East have on the state of Israel and the Jewish people? When Napoleon swept through Europe in 1812 he promised the Jews emancipation in any of the territories he would conquer. One great Chassidic master, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Ryminov, prayed for Napoleon’s victory, while another great Chassidic master, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, sided with the Czar; worrying that Napoleon would bring along secularization. To this day their Chassidim disagree on who was right. So what should we say of today’s events? Good for the Jews or not? The answer is: it depends! It depends upon which perspective of the ancient Egyptian experience we are to use as a guide. READ MORE

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