When darkness is felt,
Only then can our light shine
In freedom’s bright dawn.
The ninth and tenth plagues on Egypt – three days of darkness and death of the firstborn – were Israel’s pivot into release from slavery. The dark was no mere twilight but a palpable blackness that was physically “felt” (Ex. 10:21), and the tragic deaths that followed symbolized change. Sometimes we must feel the pitch black of darkness before we can embrace change and walk free into the light.
What darkness must you feel so your brightest light can shine?
Short breath shuts the ears:
The hardened heart cannot hear
The voice of freedom.
Moses relayed G!d’s promise of redemption from Egyptian bondage, but Israelite slaves wouldn’t listen due to spiritual exhaustion and disappointment (Ex. 6:9). The slaves were so short of spirit – literally “short breathed” (קצר רוח) and “hardened” (קשה) in servitude – that they couldn’t hear the very words they most longed for.
What keeps you from hearing freedom’s call?
“I’ll be with your mouth / And teach you what you will say / That all may be free.” (#13: Shmot)
Even Moshe, perhaps the Bible’s greatest leader, was “slow of speech” (Ex. 4:10): G!d promised at the burning bush that G!d would be with Moshe’s mouth and teach him what to say (Ex. 4:12). Recalling that freedom depended on opening to the guidance of spirit, what if today we tried to hear G!d’s voice before we spoke?