The exile of the Jews in Egypt is the prototype of spiritual slavery;
it transcends time and space.
Today, Egyptian ideology deeply permeates our reality. We are bombarded with media marketing that encourages escaping reality, doing what we want when we want, and doing what “feels good” without thinking about long-term goals or values. Don’t commit; take it easy, and go with the flow.
Such thinking is antithetical to the Jewish commitment to ethical and spiritual parameters, of living a life based on values, of seeking not what I need but what I am needed for.
But where do the roots of this laissez-faire ideology of irresponsibility come from?
The world is made of form and matter – as explained in Bereshit. The world was in a state of “tohu v’vohu,” pure unformed matter without any shape, which contained a myriad of potentialities.
HBKH shaped this matter into a wise, orderly world and entrusted humankind to continue this work via Torah guidelines, which teach us how to live a life of values and elevate material matter into the spiritual plane.
(Summary of Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair’s teaching)