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Unformatted text preview: adoxically made it easier, when the time came, for the children of Israel to wish to escape their
bitter lot. By being brought out of Egypt by God's hand, by crossing the Reed Sea, and by receiving
the commandments at Mt. Sinai, the descendants of Abraham were welded into a nation so strong and
firm in its faith that it survives forever.
The question is often asked, in what way were the Egyptians to blame for enslaving the
Children of Israel when God had told Abraham in the “covenant between the pieces” that his
descendants would be a “Stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them and they shall
afflict them” (Gen. Ch. 15 V 5 - 21). Maimonides the great medieval Biblical commentator, Halachic
authority and philosopher, reminds us that the Almighty does not say in those verses that the Children
of Israel would be slaves in Egypt, but be slaves in “a land not theirs”. They may have gone down to
Egypt stayed there a short while and perhaps gone on to Sudan, or Arabia or elsewhere. It was the
Egyptians who exercised their free will and enslaved the people and that was why they were the ones
to be punished. The Vilna Gaon, the 18th Cent. Torah giant, great Talmudic authority and leader of
Eastern European Jewry said, “If Pharaoh was exe...
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- Spring '14
- The Bible