Run From Problems Like A Poor Man–Parsha Bo

by Shmaya Gestetner

Rebbe Nachman teaches that the exile of mitzrayim and the eventual redemption also occur in our everyday lives. There are certainly many great and practical lessons that we can learn from this. Aside from intensely desiring and davening to Hashem for salvation, we need to sometimes understand what it is that holds us back from our personal redemption.

The truth is, we become extremely accustomed to our situation. Even people who suffer great spiritual battles have a certain comfort in being familiar with their situation and become somewhat subconsciously complacent with it. This is true to the extend that if we were offered an open door to instantly abandon our entire struggles, we would naturally hesitate and start reevaluating our circumstances.

Aside from the strange comfort we have in our status-quo, no matter how far our situation is from being ideal, there is an intellectual barrier preventing us from accepting our salvation. Since Hashem’s help is supernatural, it is hard for our minds to grasp the idea that it is even possible for us to be transported from one situation to a completely different and better situation. In other words, we’re sometimes too smart to allow ourselves to be saved instantly.

So our reluctance to be saved is sometimes due to an emotional hesitancy, the comfort in our current situation, and sometimes out of an intellectual barrier, not fully understanding the possibility or believing that Hashem can save us instantaneously.

Don’t think, just run!

In Hashem’s great kindness, we are all gifted with moments of inexplicable inspiration and Divine opportunity. There is no person who hasn’t experienced a split moment of great hope, holiness or inspiration. The advice in these moments, when they come, is to shut off your mind and your emotions, and just run with it. There may be many hesitations and thoughts about what is happening and how it’s possible for someone like you to merit the incredible moment you’re experiencing, just choose to run with it and don’t look back.

The minute we begin to think and analyze our situations, we can easily slip back into the same old faulty and tainted thinking that has held us back for so long.

The lesson in this week’s parsha

Reb Noson asks the following question: Matza is a holy food that contains the highest form of intellect and spiritual light, yet it is called “lechem oni”, a poor man’s food. How can the most uplifting food, eaten at the spiritual high of the year, be associated with suck lowly qualities?

But this is exactly the point. In order to capitalize on the instantaneous redemption and great light that the matza represents, we need to impoverish our minds and not think at all.

This is why the Yidden were credited for jumping at the opportunity and running into the desert without provisions, as it says: “V’lo yochlu l’hismahmayah, v’gam tzeyda lo assu lahem” – “They were not able to hesitate and also did not prepare any provisions for themselves” (Shemos 12:39). This is the main lesson of the matza and it’s relationship to our fleeing Mitzrayim. Had they waited, it would have become chometz and they would have missed the opportunity.

The Yidden are forever credited for this act of abandoning their intellect and allowing Hashem to lead us out of Mitzrayim, as it says (Yirmiyah 2:2) “zacharti lach chesed ne’urayich…lechteich acharay bamidbar” – “I remember the devotion of your youth… following me into the desert, a barren land”.

Let us await Hashem’s salvation and have the wisdom to shed our exile mindset at moments notice when we receive inspiration.(Based on Likutey Moharan II:124 and Likutey Halachos Hoda’ah 6)


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