Pesach - Second Day
Leviticus 22:26 - 23:44 / Maftir Numbers 28:16-25

Death Was Everywhere! ©
"Wow! Can you believe it? We are free! Really Free!!"

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of Naomi Channah, Mrs. Naomi Lipton Kravitz may she rest in peace, by her son, Daniel Kravitz, and family.

Great destruction happened yesterday. Death was in the air! Everywhere in Mitzriam! Bitter cries and wailing were everywhere. Dead soldiers, dead people and dead animals were everywhere. Our deliverance was so great! Baruch Hashem! G-d was so powerful! Blessed is His Name! May He be blessed forever! After 430 years of slavery it came to an abrupt end. Thank G-d! I didn't know if it ever would! Like every Jew here, I was dearly hoping our slavery would end! It did! Thank G-d! It's amazing! It's over! Am I alive? Pinch me! It happened so quickly... so very quickly. Word spread that we were leaving. It was for real! We only had time to prepare a little Matzoh, unleavened bread! Then soldiers were all over us. "Get your things!" Get Out! Leave this country! Get out!" Echoes of their harsh commands could be heard for blocks as Jews rushed by our home with their families, cattle and great wealth. We also rushed to join our leader Moshe even before the soldiers arrived.

It was like day in the dark of night. This huge fire lit up the entire sky. Moshe, our leader, and director of Free My People stood off a little distance from the Fire as B'nei Yisroel continued to join him.

It was actually happening! The ruling class were leaning out their windows and screaming as we passed by, "Get out of our country! My son is dead because of you.. My father... My sister!" The impact of death was so great. People were running through the streets out of their minds! People sped by on horses and in chariots towards the homes of relatives and friends surveying the impact of death!

There is no way to explain the power of death. Parents holding their dead children weeping bitterly as we passed by. Children bending over dead mothers, fathers, siblings. Yes, there was enormous grief.

And then there was our great, vast exultation. It was impossible for us to lend even small feelings of compassion towards those who had brutally murdered, raped and beaten us for years. They were everywhere as we left! The vengeance of G-d was everywhere! Baruch Hashem!

We could not contain ourselves seeing so many of our enemies lying dead before us... It was such an overwhelming feeling... Emotions bottled up for years erupted as we rushed from Mitzriam! The army was devastated. They were muddled! It was difficult for them to function. Many of their leaders were dead. Disarray, chaos and all forms of confusion were happening all around us. That was yesterday...

The Fire began to move. It led us. All B'nei Yisroel followed. Those in the back could see just in the front, close to the Fire. No one was cold. The Fire regulated the temperature throughout all B'nei Yisroel.

The Fire was so bright that one had to look off a great distance to realize it was actually night. Eventually dawn came. The Fire transformed into this huge, soft, fluffy, massive Cloud as the sun began to rise. The Cloud blocked the sun from beating down on us as we traveled.

No one experienced exhaustion! It was very comfortable. We stopped to eat and set up camp at Sukkos after putting distance between Mitzriam and us. Tomorrow we are planning on journeying on to Eisom at the edge of the desert.

Tonight we sit at our own campfires as free people. Thank G-d! The Fire lights the sky again. It's magnificent! It's indescribable! Our leader Moshe listens to the Fire. The Fire tells him what to do. He does what the Fire says! Moshe explained to our leaders that G-d is the Fire by night and G-d is the Cloud by day. This is really incredible!! In my wildest considerations I could never have imagined something like this!

We are so happy! We are Free! Thank G-d, we are Free! No one will be able to sleep tonight. Stories are all over our camp about the Mighty Hand of G-d delivering us! Our children are laughing, really laughing! Everyone is so incredibly joyful! Baruch Hashem! We dreamed of this day! Now, it's here! Thank G-d! Wow! This feeling of freedom is so powerful! I can't describe it!

Just yesterday we were slaves! We were the despised working class in Mitzriam! Our lives were in jeopardy, G-d forbid! The army of Mitzriam, the greatest army in the world, was making preparations to destroy us, G-d forbid! ... to end our struggle for freedom, G-d forbid! Yet tonight we sit here in Sukkos around campfires as free people! If we can go to bed tonight we will go to bed as free people for the first time in our lives.

Even Jochaved, Moshe's mother, who was born between the gates as our father Yaakov came to join Yosief and to spare our family, enjoys freedom tonight after enduring 210 years in Mitzriam and 116 years of slavery and struggle for freedom...

Thank G-d, the bones of Yosief are with us tonight! We will bury them, G-d willing, in the land of promise!

Wow! Can you believe we are free? Really Free?

Dear reader, holy reader, you can join us in the Festival of Freedom. You can share in the gift of freedom. Every year we remember and honor Hashem for delivering us from the bitter slavery in Mitzriam. This year you can join in our celebration. Shuvah is the path to freedom. Returning to G-d is the path of freedom! Pursue freedom by returning to G-d! At least come closer to G-d! Even a little closer is good and a lot is better!

We do this by identifying our sins! We do this by acknowledging our mistakes. We take full ownership of errors. We own our sins! We did them! They belong to us! It was our choice! Then we separate ourselves from our errors, from our sins! We are here. Our sins and our errors are there. Next we determine not to go over there. Over where? Over there where our sins and error are. We stop visiting them. We move away from them. We leave them behind! We join the Festival of Freedom! We remember how we were slaves to our sins, to our errors, but now thank G-d we are free!

Wishing you the best on this second night of Pesach as we begin counting the Omer, {See our "Counting the Omer Guide"}

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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