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Dvar for Vaera (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

Reading the story of how the Jews became enslaved to Egypt in Parshat Vaera and having the benefit of knowing how the story ends, one can wonder why the Egyptians were punished for enslaving the Jews, when we know that the Jews needed to be enslaved, either as part of the decree or as the process of becoming a cohesive nation.

The Ramchal explains that the answer lies in the Egyptians’ intent, which became clear when it was time to let the Jews go. Had the Egyptians done it with the intention of merely doing G-d’s will, they would have immediately let them go when the situation warranted it, and yet they did not. The same is true of our lives: We can sometimes justify not giving as much, not volunteering enough, or not learning enough Torah by claiming not to have time or resources. The truth is revealed, though, when we do have time, on weekends, vacations, or between jobs/school. If we do what we can when we can, we will prove our appreciation for the Torah, and improve our appreciation OF the Torah in the process.