Bo Bitachon
We always talk about Bitachon that is wholesome and complete. It’s not enough to introduce thoughts and talk about Bitachon in our lives. Although it’s far better than not contemplating Bitachon at all, and a person who is able to remind themselves about Bitachon many times throughout the day is certainly going in the right direction, it’s not enough. Complete Bitachon is not just about quantity, as in having Bitachon and reliance on Hashem at all times; it also requires quality. The quality of one’s Bitachon in Hashem must have the potential to express an unbending devotion to Hashem and Yiddishkeit, even in the face of any challenge. Before the Yidden were manumitted from מצרים, they were put to the test to see if they contained and were ready to exercise the full extent of devotion necessary for serving Hashem. Hashem tested the Yidden by giving them a seemingly peculiar commandment. On the tenth of Nissan, four days before the קרבן פסח was to be slaughtered, the Yidden should already acquire their sheep, and for safekeeping, the sheep should be tied to the bedpost. This was the first part of the commandment. It is interesting that they were given a date on which to purchase the sheep, but doable. Then Hashem continued, “The purpose of buying the sheep early is specifically to pique the curiosity of the Egyptians so that they will ask, ‘Why are you holding the sheep in your homes?’ And you should boldly respond that you are holding the sheep in order to slaughter it as a קרבן to Hashem.”
Now this required a lot of chutzpa on the part of the Yidden because sheep were one of the gods that the Egyptians served, and using the ‘god’ as a קרבן for Hashem would be degrading to the Egyptians. This action could seriously incense and infuriate the Egyptians and they may become violent toward the Yidden as a result. Moshe himself predicted such an outcome when requesting a three day holiday for the Yidden outside of מצרים in order to offer קרבנות to Hashem, thinking that if they would do it within the borders of Egypt, the Egyptians would surely stone them, הן נזבח גו’ ולא יסקלנו. Nonetheless, this was Hashem’s will; that each Jew should stand up bravely to those who had previously enslaved him, and to show them that he fears neither his former masters nor their god, and he will say so loud and proud to any Egyptian expressing curiosity about the sheep. ​
The Rebbe observes that the Yidden were at a very low point at that time, void of Mitzvos, they were even idolaters, but when they chose to go all the way with Hashem, in total commitment, that is what propelled them out of מצרים. It would have been easier to try to go and acquire the sheep in a much more inconspicuous manner, and stay under the radar, but Hashem wanted them to abolish any trace of kinship with מצרים by announcing complete and total devotion to Hashem, especially considering the danger of doing so in מצרים. When the Yidden followed through, He knew they were ready to live a life connected to Hashem and to be Hashem’s people. ​​ In a similar vein, when at הר סיני the Yidden proclaimed נעשה ונשמע, we will do before we understand, your will is our command and your רצון will be fulfilled, that is what convinced Hashem to give us the Torah. Generally people should follow their understanding (not their emotions), for when decisions are founded on proper and clear intellect, well thought through with no emotional input, the product thereof has a bigger chance of being admirable. Emotional evaluations on the other hand, may very well have a much less commendable result. However even the intellectual path has a deficiency; when it comes to devotion to another, especially Hashem, if the devotion is principally a rational one, it will be noticed in the devotion, for the devotion will only be there when it seems logical. The minute that the understanding is challenged the devotion is gone. The foundation therefore must be that if Hashem commanded it, the only option is to comply, and in this context do we introduce the נשמע, the understanding, because the intelligence will remain in the context and framework of the קבלת עול and devotion to Hashem. This wholesome commitment to Hashem, higher than understanding, was commenced by the Yidden when they fulfilled Hashems instruction to purchase the sheep and to respond to the מצריים with courage as outlined above.

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