As Pesach approaches, I thought it would be appropriate to see freedom from a different perspective. Pesach focuses on the freedom of bondage from Egypt. For 210 years we were slaves and then we became free, or more appropriately said, we were freed, not by our own power, but by Hashem Himself. We celebrate freedom. The ability, to choose as we want and not be forced day in and day out to do as others say.
But I want to focus on the slavery part. How did we end up being slaves? And does that question even matter? Or were we meant to be slaves and Hashem Himself made us slaves to another people? Avraham Avinu was told that his descendants would be slaves so the decree had been in place. Whether we liked it or not, we were going to be slaves. But human nature is not to blame or to point fingers at Hashem for what happens in our life. Human nature is to say, "I got myself in this mess" and "I got myself out of this mess" or "I created all this success." But it's not like that. Our freewill is less than we think. All we really have is the choice to do good or bad, but other than that, we have very little control of life.
Being that we have less control than we think, why do we take failures so seriously? Why do we cry, and mourn, and curse ourselves for something that we really didn't have so much control over? And if we fail, why are we scared to try again? Just because you were meant to fail a first time, who says, you are meant to fail again? It's easy in retrospect to see why you failed, but at that time, you lacked that insight or that knowledge or that maturity to succeed. Hashem puts a veil in our eyes when He wants and how He wants. That is why we thank G-d each morning for opening our eyes. Because we are all blind, not physically but to the reality around us. We make bad decisions, we fail in business, in our marriages, in our upbringing of our kids, because we are meant to fail. But that doesn't mean it was all completely your fault. If you blame yourself completely, than you have made yourself a god. Yes, there are lessons to be learned from each failure but after the fact, it was meant to happen. What you do after is in your control. Do you get up and try again and ignore what happened completely or do you fear failing again. What if Hashem has a different plan for you this time around? Maybe you had a lesson to learn and now you learned it. Maybe you had to become more sensitive to others. Maybe you needed to know how it feels to be poor, or broken, or homeless, or hopeless. Maybe you needed soul cleansing and this failure or pain has now cleansed you.
Hashem put you in your present Egypt. He will get you out of it. But remember this. HE PUT YOU INTO YOUR EGYPT. You were meant to go into Egypt. Through prayer, through teshuva, through Torah, through Ahavat Yisrael, and most importantly through emunah, you will get out of Egypt. Will you go through another Egypt later in life? Most likely, yes. But Hashem always pulls you out of Egypt. So what does this mean practically. If you have failed financially until now, that was Hashem's plan. Stop blaming yourself. Daven and Hashem will open your eyes. Suddenly you can see success from here and there and be on top of the world. If you are divorced, the divorce was meant to be. Stop blaming yourself. Become the best version of yourself and try again. Remember, Hashem wants you happy. He doesn't want you to be alone. But you have to believe He got you divorced. It wasn't you. So become the best you, and let Hashem direct you to your bashert. If you have difficult children, again, it's not you! Learn from your parenting mistakes and strive to be the best parent you can be, but know that you were meant to go through these difficulties with children. Daven to Hashem, and you try to be a better son or daughter to Hashem Himself, and you will see you children come around. And if you are sick, that was decreed to. But this Egypt will end as well and you will be healthy.
So this Pesach. Daven for Hashem to get you our of your personal Egypt. But make sure to thank Him for putting you into Egypt as well. Because if not for Egypt, you would not know Hashem.