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When Captive becomes Liberator

This week is called "The Great Shabbat" and is always the Shabbat before Passover. The reason for this distinction is to mark two events that happened on the 10th of Nissan which was the Shabbat before the first Passover. The first event was the Jews tying a lamb to their beds in preparation for what would be the Pascal lamb. It was the first concrete preparation that they made for their eventual freedom. The second event was a civil war that took place in Egypt.

The firstborn sons of Egypt, fought with the rest of the Egyptians, because they had been warned about the 10th upcoming plague and their lives were on the line. They wanted Pharaoh to let the Jewish slaves free. But Pharaoh along with the rest of the Egyptians refused. And so in the civil war that broke out many Egyptians were killed. What's interesting is that this event is marked as miraculous, even though it did not lead to freedom for the Jewish people, and the firstborn sons did not win the battle and prevail. Nevertheless this was was such a pivotal moment because it was the first time that the Egyptians themselves-the source of the slavery and the suffering- stood up and demanded that Pharaoh free the slaves, even though they did not succeed. The fact that Egypt itself rose up in the defense and for the freedom of the Jewish people is miraculous.

As I've written about before, Egypt is not only a physical place, it is the representation of any narrowness or limitations, things that are holding us back from expressing who we truly are. Sometimes we're lucky that the very things that are holding us captive can rise up and protest for our freedom. This is a very deep process where the captive itself becomes the liberator. There are many ways that this can express itself since Egypt can manifest itself in many different ways, for every person and in every circumstance their Egypt is different. Egypt can represent trauma, anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, disconnection from soul/self or many other ways.

Just like the firstborn Egyptians, sometimes our Egypts can be agents for our freedom. So this Shabbat as we enter the week of Passover listen to your Egypts and what they're telling you. Use their strengths that have held you back to propel you forward into a place of expansiveness, connection to self and true freedom.

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