Jereboam, son of Nebat was the man who split the kingdom of Israel away from the kingdom of Judah. God was in the separation, he said he was. God even came to Jereboam and told him if he would keep the ways of Torah, he would establish his dynasty. To be fair, Jereboam did this after a fashion. He established the Torah as the religion of Israel. He built two temples, in Dan and Bethel. He made them similar to the Temple in Jerusalem, with a few “modifications.” The first issue, was that he said anyone could be a Kohain, a priest; doing away with the requirement to be a descendant of Aaron, or even the need for someone to be a Levite. In our egalitarian society, that would not seem to be a big deal, but since it was a command of God, to Him it was a big…
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-Bava Kama 92b
The Talmud states that this folk saying is related to the Torah commandment, “Do not reject an Egyptian, because you were a dweller in his land” (Deuteronomy 23:8). Since Egypt hosted the Israelites, we, their descendants, must acknowledge our gratitude.
The brief period of tranquility that our ancestors enjoyed in Egypt was followed by decades of ruthless enslavement and brutal oppression. Thousands of newborn Israelite children were murdered. This unspeakable horror more than obscured any favorable treatment they had received earlier, and our natural inclination is to despise the Egyptians with a passion.
The Torah tells us to take a different path. Although we celebrate, every Passover, our liberation from this tyrannical enslavement and commemorate the triumph over our oppressors, we have no right to deny that we did receive some benefit from them. Even…
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