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Thursday, January 23, 2020 26 Tevet 5780


The first Lubavitch/Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the Tanya and Code of Jewish Law, once remarked that a Jew must "live with the times." His son explained the meaning: A Jew must live with the Torah portion of the week - i.e., he must assimilate the lessons of the weekly Torah portion


For the Sake of the Jews
The ten plagues that were brought upon the Egyptians served several purposes:
1) to punish the Egyptians for their treatment of the Jewish people;
2) to demonstrate to the Egyptians the power and might of G-d;
3) to provide the Jewish people with palpable evidence of G-d's power and His love for them, stories they would tell to their children for eternity, as the verse states, “In order that you will tell your children and grandchildren... and you will know that I am G-d.”
Our sages say that the world was created “for the sake of Israel and for the sake of Torah.” The plagues were not just brought to punish the Egyptians, but to provide a positive benefit to the Jewish people. Every event that transpires in this world, in some way, either benefits the Jewish people directly or had an indirect impact on their mission in this world.
We find a similar concept in the Haftorah of this week, in the prophecy of Ezekiel regarding the ultimate destruction of Egypt. G-d tells Ezekiel, “And the residents of Egypt will know that I am G-d.” The verse then adds, “And to you I will give an opening in their midst.” In other words, the destruction of Egypt will benefit the Jews in that it will strengthen the faith of the Jews in their prophets. 
In a similar vein, in 1991 we witnessed amazing miracles during the first Gulf War, when the Scud missiles directed at Israel did no harm. This intensified our faith in the prophecies of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of the imminent Redemption.

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