Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai said: Come and see how beloved are the Jewish people before Hashem, in that to every place to which they were exiled the Shechina went with them. They were exiled to Egypt the Shechina was with them... They were exiled to Bavel, the Shechina was with them...and when they will be redeemed in the future the Shechina will be with them, as it says (Nitzovim 30:3) Then the L-rd your G-d will return [with] your captivity, it doesn’t say that He shall bring back, but that He shall return with the Jews from their places of exile. (Megila 29a).
This statement of RaShBY needs to be understood: if he states that wherever the Jewish people were exiled to, the Shechina went with them, why does he have to elaborate that this means Egypt, Babylon? They are already included in the general statement. What is so special that also when they will be redeemed the Shechina is with them? The only reason the Shechina is in exile is because the Jewish people are in golus; so when they’ll be redeemed, the Shechina will have no reason to remain in golus. Why does this have to be emphasized and learned from a passuk ?
The explanation: The distinction between the various exiles (Egypt, Babylon etc) is that Mitzrayim is the source and root of all the exiles. It is like the "crown of evil," the beginning of all other exiles. After that came the exiles of Babylon, Modai, Greece and Rome.
To every one of these exiles, there is a remedy which rectifies it. RahBY said (Sukka 45b) "I am able to absolve the entire world from judgment," and this comes by virtue of what every Jew fulfills as he makes a "dwelling place for Hashem" – the " Shechina is with them".
Therefore, says RaShBY, that in general wherever the Jewish people went the Shechina is with them. Subsequent to that general statement, there has to be an avoda of refining each separate and individual golus, and he cites in detail the passuk referring to each golus: Mitzrayim, Bavel etc. – that the Shechina is with them. This empowers a Jew to succeed in his avoda in each individual golus.
To further explain: When a Jew is in golus, although his neshama didn’t go into golus, nevertheless his physical aspects are in golus, and the master over his body is the "spiritual-minister" of that respective country.
The golus point of view is: Being that we’re living in golus, (not only those Jews who are in chutz-l’Aretz (outside Eretz Yisrael ) but also the Jews in our Holy-Land), when one looks from a "material" point of view, he feels that the body must conduct itself like the non-Jews. This is the general attitude that he (at least his body) is bound by the "limitations and constraints" of "Mitzrayim."
Thus we are told that even before one begins to do anything to free himself of these constraints, already "the Shechina is with them," he is not left behind alone (to think how will he ever be able to overcome the entire world) - but he is told beforehand "the Shechina is with them."
Then it comes down into details: how the head of the body should conduct itself; how the middle of the body (the emotions of the heart) shoul d be conducted; and how the body should act in matters of action. – these are symbolic of the subsequent exiles, ( Modai, Bavel, Yavan and Rome ).
About the avoda with these "Hashem helps him" (Kiddushin 30b) – his perspective then is not that he is like a goy, but he is with the Shechina , and just as the Shechina will leave golus – so will be redeemed also each and every Jew .
( To be continued IYH)
(Sicha of Lag b’Omer 5738)
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