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Lechaim to Chutzpah!

Friday, 11 January, 2019 - 12:49 am

Taking the Jews out of Egypt was the easy part for G-d; he’s in the miracle business. Taking the Egypt out of the Jews, now that’s hard. And Egypt was very into the Jews, the Pharaohs had enticing culture and entertainment (abomination in both sleazy and non-sleazy flavors); the Jews desperately wanted to shed immigrant status and blend in. They pretty much did.  

One of the most adored of the Egyptians adorations was. . . the sheep (no, I don’t know why and let’s not go there). It was the portent of, oh, I don’t know, the television? Now imagine your coming home one day, taking the beloved idiot box and throwing it out the window! Now picture doing that when you work for the networks and your boss came over to watch the news with you. We call it chutzpah.
That’s why the Jews had to slaughter the sheep for Pesach. Hours later they were ready to leave Egypt behind: a deflated, emasculated shell of a has-been. 
The chutzpah they kept. The gall to define reality and live by what is right: not comfortable, logical nor even possible, but what is right. The Jews who survived Europe seventy-five years ago and started having families at an unprecedented rate demonstrated an awesome, enviable, breathtaking chutzpah. The Jews in America, who were bombarded with “The Disappearing Jew” series that every magazine was mouthing, but nevertheless opened day schools, filled them with children and at the same time shlepped the parent generation in, were totally ignoring reality and doing their own thing. Their own thing.
The Jews (0.0005% of the population) are not defined by their surroundings and limitations (the Hebrew word for that is Metzarim – the same as the Hebrew word for Egypt). The Jews are defined by he who defines them. (Mitzvhas are often called signs – definitions). 
So yes, the next time you read some cutting-edge report about the demise of Israel, see a documentary or news feature you think is slanted negatively, don’t get annoyed. Think chutzpah (it’s also recommended for the blood pressure).
All those sheep and TV’s are not our reality. Turn it off. Feel free to throw it out.   Then wonder how you could have possibly lived with that thing for so long. And know how it feels to leave Egypt behind.
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