Dvar Torah Parshat Beshalach 2009 5769 דבר תורה פרשת בשלח

Having sent the Israelites out of Egypt, Pharaoh suddenly had a change of heart and regretted having allowed them to leave. He said to his people what did we do KI SHILACHNU ET ISRAEL ME’OVDENU, “that we sent Israel away from serving us.” (Ex. 14,5) Did he already forget that he chased them out of Egypt because of the plagues visited upon him and his people?

A great Rabbi offered an explanation. When the Jews were first enslaved it was not for the monetary gains that the Egyptians would benefit. It was rather simply to oppress them as the Torah testifies: LEMA’AN ANOTO BESIVLOTAM, “in order to afflict them with their burden.” (Ex. 1,11) After having freed them they now first realized that there was a side benefit to the enslavement. There was also a financial gain by enslaving them. Hence they regretted having permitted them to leave.

History repeated itself many times in the Diaspora. Country after country saw the success of the Jew and how he managed to prosper even under the most adverse circumstances. What every country eventually did was to chase the Jews out of their land. Sooner or later each country realized that when the Jews lived there the country had prospered and now that they were gone the country did not thrive as it did before. Eventually they all invited the Jews to come back.

In a somewhat similar fashion the world today cannot accept the way Israel is prospering and they are trying every means of demonizing the country. They ignore the great inventions and discoveries that Israel is offering to the civilized world. It will not be long before they will realize that Israel offers a benefit to the civilized world and their attitude will change.

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