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You've Been Drafted

Friday, 31 January, 2020 - 2:04 pm


As Jews we are sensitive to the way people refer to us. Some titles are derogatory and borne of prejudice while others are neutral and harmless. But when G-d refers to us with a title we need to pay attention.

In this week’s parsha we learn the most important chapter of the story of our liberation: the moment Pharaoh was humbled to the point of allowing us to actually leave Egypt. 

Up until then the Torah refers to the Jews as Bnei Yisrael (children of Israel) or Ivrim (Hebrews). But when the Torah announces that the Jews finally left Egypt, it states “and it came to pass in that very day, that all the legions of the L-rd went out of the land of Egypt.”

No longer just children or descendants of legendary patriarchs or the “first-born son of G-d.” The people leaving Egypt are now “Tzvios Hashem - G-d’s Legions” - in common parlance G-d’s soldiers.

To use the analogy of war, POWs are typically liberated after the war is over and their freedom is symbolic of the end of the struggle. Contrastly, our liberation from Egypt signified the beginning of the struggle.

The dramatic events of Exodus did not happen in order to undo the tragic injustice of the Israelite enslavement. It was in order to draft a unique group of men, women and children to G-d’s army to wage the war on materialism and egocentrism by bringing the awareness of a Higher Power to every place on the globe.

This battle has been fought on all fronts for the past 3,331 years. Every geographical location, every social sphere and every era in history has been impacted by the teachings of Torah due to the devoted service of G-d’s Army.

On the 10th day of Shevat, 1951 the Lubavitcher Rebbe formally accepted the leadership of the Chabad Lubavitch movement by delivering an original chassidic discourse with this singular message: we are the ones who will victoriously end this epic war and we are provided every resource necessary to get the job done. To usher in the era of Moshiach when peace and tranquility will reign for all.

We’ve all been drafted equally at the birth of our nation, but if you are reading this message today it means you’ve been chosen to complete the task Jews of previous generations could only dream of.

As we mark the seventieth year of the Rebbe’s leadership this Wednesday may we all absorb this empowering and humbling message and seek ways to expedite the conclusion of this multi-generational war by increasing our Torah study and Mitzvah observance.

You’ve been drafted and victory is the only option.


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