Making the Past Present

The Book of Shmos is a fundamentally important text for the Jewish people. Beginning with the narrative of our people’s ordeal of slavery, it describes Moshe’s emergence as a leader, the miracles of the exodus, the giving of the Torah, the sin of the Golden Calf, and the construction of the Sanctuary.

These events are not merely points of history, but eternally vital concepts in our Divine service. We are concerned not with stories of the past, but with spiritual dynamics of contemporary relevance.

Likkutei Sichos1 serves as an invaluable guide for developing insights regarding these subjects. A collection of the edited talks of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, it probes beneath the surface of the Torah’s narrative and provides for a multidimensional process of understanding.

A Team Effort

The translation of a book of this type requires the involvement of many people. The full list of all those who contributed is too long to mention, but notice should be made of the following: Eliyahu Touger who was responsible for the translation, Gershom Gale who did the editing, Rabbi Aharon Leib Raskin who annotated the sources and checked the authenticity of the translation, Yosef Yitzchok Turner who provided the layout and topography, Uri Kaploun who was always available for counsel and direction, and Rabbi Yonah Avtzon, Director of Sichos In English, who supervised every phase of the project’s development.

Making the Future Present

The prophet teaches:2 “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders,” for the Future Redemption will follow the paradigm of our people’s first emergence from slavery. In that vein, the events described in the book of Shmos are all foreshadowings of our people’s ultimate Redemption, when we will again leave exile, receive Mashiach’s Torah insights, and build the Third Beis HaMikdash.

From the beginning of his nesius, the Rebbe saw the mission of our generation as completing all the Divine service required in the era of the exile and preparing for the advent of the Era of the Redemption. And thus in this generation, the Book of Shmos and the deeper dimension of its teachings, has a unique pertinence.

May the study of the Rebbe’s teachings enable us to appreciate that pertinence and encourage us all to take our part in shouldering the mission of spiritual purpose which the Rebbe taught. And may this in turn lead to overtly apparent good and blessing, including the ultimate blessing, the coming of the Redemption, and the fulfillment of the prophecy,3 “And those who repose in the dust will arise and sing,” with the Rebbe at our head “and he will redeem us.”

Sichos In English

10 Shvat, 5756