Thursday, June 19, 2008

Leaving Egypt

From "Leaving Egypt" by Miriam Adahan:
Egypt -- in Hebrew, Mitzrayim -- literally means a "place of narrowness." It was a place where people were enthralled by flashy materialism, were fascinated with death, and were lacking in reverence for life. It was a society which believed that only those people in the most exalted positions were deserving of honor, and that they were justified in their arrogant disregard of and cruelty toward those who were beneath them. It was a place in which we lived in physical slavery and bondage.

Within each of us there is also a spiritual Mitzrayim, from which we must extricate ourselves daily. This coming out of Mitzrayim is accomplished by breaking out of our narrow boundaries and demonstrating our reverence for God, for the Godliness within man, and for the lasting values of Torah. As we will see, this is a difficult transition.

. . . .

In order to reach emotional maturity, a child must leave this Mitzrayim -- mentality. He must learn to look within himself for his sense of worth and joy, must develop tolerance and respect for his fellowmen, not just those at the top or those who agree with him, and must stop using manipulative control tactics to force others to change.

Many people never make the transition. They remain enslaved in a spiritual Mitzrayim, constantly condemning those who don't measure up or compulsively seeking approval to make themselves feel loved and successful, while feeling like losers deep inside. They alternate between an angry Pharaoh-mode (i.e. oppressing others in an attempt to feel superior) and a depressed slave-mode (i.e. allowing themselves to be oppressed and stifled, because they feel helpless, hopeless and inferior).
Read it all at InnerNet Magazine.

2 comments:

John Bassett said...

Well, who can disagree with the values of emotional maturity and reverence? But as exegesis this ranks up there with the 84 sermons of Bernard of Clairvaux on the Song of Songs.

klady said...

This struck me for various reasons. I must confess that what took me to it was trying to find out what mitzrayim meant in the context of this recentsermon by Rev. Naomi King.