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Don’t worry about the dough

This week, my dear friend, Reb Levi Lebovits of The Vaad Project, has a guest spot on this page with a powerful piece on becoming more remarkable in your role as a Jewish leader.

Over to Reb Levi...

We Jews are different. We’re rooted Above, charged with an elevated mission. The endless persecution, the current global climate of antisemitism – it’s all how it’s supposed to be, all part of Hashem’s perfect plan.

But do we know where that plan will take us? Do we understand what we’re working towards as we pursue it?

Geulah, of course! The final redemption! A time when the entire universe will accept Hashem’s sovereignty and the world will reach perfection.

We’re used to thinking of geulah as a happily-ever-after time when there won’t be any more pain or suffering, and we’ll all live together in peace and joy.

Of course, this sounds like a dream. But there’s more to it than that, and there’s a special mindset we can develop to help us bring it closer.

Let’s take a look at what happened during our nation’s original redemption – the Exodus.

After the Plague of Darkness, Paro offered Moshe a deal: you and your people can leave to serve Hashem as long as you leave your livestock behind.

Moshe turned him down. The Jews needed their animals to serve Hashem, he explained, because “we don’t know how we will serve Hashem when we get there.” (Shemos 10:26)

Rashi (ibid.) provides fascinating context to Moshe’s words, interpreting them to mean the Jews needed to harness every resource they had because “we don’t know how intense the work will be, as Hashem may ask from us more than we can provide.”

But how could that be? How could Hashem ask us for more than we were capable of?

Because that’s geulah—stepping into a reality far above us and our level of greatness, taking the plunge into a complete unknown without the comfort of feeling prepared for what lies ahead.

Geulah is like matzah. We eat matzah on Seder night because, on the morning of the Jews’ redemption, Hashem rushed them out to freedom before their bread doughs had time to rise.

Why did things need to happen this way? Why couldn’t we set out with hearty, tasty loaves of bread in our sacks?

It wasn’t a mistake. Hashem didn’t run into a scheduling issue. The no-rise matzah was designed to deliver a powerful message.

We will never be ready to experience geulah. Its reality is so completely different from anything we have context for. It’s so far above us, so beyond our comprehension, that we’ll never be sufficiently prepared—physically or spiritually.

There’s only one real way to prepare: getting comfortable with the thought of running toward the geulah unconditionally, no matter what we’ll have to let go of.

As intimidating as that mindset might feel, it’s something every Jew can access. It’s part of our “aboveness.” Because we aren’t ordinary people of this earth—because we come from Above—we have the power to jump into a condition beyond our limits. We were created to extend ourselves upward.

On a micro level, we’re called to do this many times throughout life. We’ve all faced challenges that simply felt impossible.

At those times, Hashem was whispering to us: don’t worry about the dough. Sling it on your back raw and take the leap you need to take.

It’s out of your comfort zone? Do it anyway. Because that’s what Geulah is about. And that’s the other-worldly power a Jew possesses. The power to run towards something greater even if he doesn’t see a safe, cushy landing pad ahead. Even if the details aren’t all perfectly worked out.

Pesach is the perfect time to start exercising our Geulah muscle. To practice running toward challenges and opportunities greater than who we are and what we feel we can easily handle. Because we weren’t built to stay comfortably tied to this world. We were built to live Above.

May we merit the complete redemption speedily in our days!

Copyright © 2024 Avraham Lewis & Co.