Rabbi David Lau
Rabbi of MODIIN
One of the events that built the nation of Israel was the exodus from Egypt.
The exodus from Egypt was an event where a nation of slaves, called the sons of Israel, by Pharaoh, king of Egypt, left Egypt after great miracles happened. The ten plagues are inflicted on Egypt and thereafter was the parting of the red Sea.
The people of Israel pass through the sea cheering, which can be heard forty years later. Rahav in Jericho reminds us that it was heard that God dried up the Red Sea as the people passed through.
The exodus from Egypt was a formidable event and the whole nation and the entire world were amazed to see how an entire nation of slaves left.
Running away without a purpose has no value and anarchy and confusion can take over. The Torah instructs Moses and says that he is the person chosen to take the Jewish nation out of Egypt.
He is told that when he takes the nation out of Egypt, the first stop must be Mount Sinai. At the place where the Torah will be received, laws will be decided on how to behave, how to become a special nation, a nation that runs its own life with honor and in an exemplary fashion, and will be an example to the entire world.
The Torah is received on Mount Sinai, and the people of Israel will go forth to the land of Israel. When in the desert, the spies come back from exploring the land of Canaan, and describe a land that is not so good. They incite the people who as a result, are sorry that they left Egypt to go to the land of Israel.
At this point, Moses is resigned and makes the nation remain in the desert until another generation is born. because those who left Egypt had been slaves. They were not able to live a life of freedom in their own land.
When a new generation was created, a new era began. After 40 years, the sons could enter the land of Israel and begin a life in the land of their forefathers.
But Moses is not privileged to enter the land of Israel with them. He has sinned by striking the rock, disobeying God, and his great personality requires maximal compliance, because we expect our leaders to be perfect, and when he does not obey absolutely, Moses remains in the desert, and doesn’t enter the land of Israel.
His pupil, Joshua Ben-Nun enters the land of Israel with the people of Israel, and bequeaths the country of his forefathers to the sons.