In this week's Torah portion we read how the Jewish people, all seventy of them, move to Egypt. The Jews arrived as little more than a small tribe. They left Egypt as a nation, 210 years later, three million strong.

The fact that the birth of the Jews as a people occurred in Egypt, away from the Land of Israel, the spiritual epicenter of the Jewish people, is no coincidence.

The Jewish people have always been about more than just a political, ethnic or even religious group. The Jewish people are an idea, a mission, a bond with God and the Torah.

The Jewish idea is the unrelenting insistence of the underlying positivity embedded in the DNA of the universe, and trying to bring that positivity to the fore, transforming the world into a place of goodness and kindness.

The mission is to be a light unto the nations, through living lives of caring, giving, loving, learning Torah and doing Mitzvot.

The bond with God is a pact formed at Mt Sinai that we've kept up ever since.

The fact that the Jews grew into a people in Egypt was a reminder of what our people were to be all about. Transforming the world, even it's darkest elements, to good. Striving to thrive even in the face of overwhelming challenges. 

By starting their people-hood in exile in Egypt, God was sending a simple, powerful message to the Jews. The message was simple: you don't need to be born perfect to succeed. 



Rabbi Avrohom