Why does Moses need Pharaoh's permission for the exodus from Egypt?

I planted a tree in the community where Ahuvya Sandak lived and spoke with residents about laws of the State as opposed to laws of the Torah

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu ,

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu in Maoz Esther
Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu in Maoz Esther
Courtesy

I was privileged this week to plant a tree in the community of Maoz Esther (Stronghold of Esther) where Ahuvya Sandak, beloved of all of us, worked and built. I met many of the "hill-top youth" there, most of whom are not youths at all, but are serious and responsible adults, with families and children, who love Eretz Yisrael with all their hearts and want to settle it and not let it become a no-man's land, taken over by the Palestinians. Those same people who, supported and encouraged by Europeans, try continually to take over every hill and every place uninhabited by Jews.

A discussion ensued about the validity of the laws of the State as opposed to the laws of the Torah. And really what is there to discuss, it is simply obvious that the laws of the Torah are above and beyond any human law. After determining this fundamental understanding, it is worth studying Parashat Sh'mot carefully. We see that Moshe is ordered by Hashem not to ignore the laws of Egypt, but to cause Pharaoh to change the laws and enact the "Law of Exodus."; without this, Am Yisrael would not leave Egypt.

There is no doubt that Hashem could have ignored Pharaoh, put him and his people to death with one blow and so reached the end of the story. "I could have stretched forth My hand and stricken you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been effaced from the earth."

But Hashem prefers to instruct Moshe to follow the long road, to speak to Pharaoh time after time, to bring upon him the ten plagues until he understands and asks Moshe and Am Yisrael to leave Egypt. "Then all these courtiers of yours shall come down to me and bow low to me, saying, ‘Depart, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will depart.”

It may be a longer road that comes with a great, painful price, but this is the way the Second Temple was built as well. Clearly, Hashem does not need Cyrus's approval to build the Second Temple. Yet without that approval the Second Temple was not built, because Hashem wants the entire world to enact a law and to understand and recognize the enormous value of the Temple, because that's the only way that they can be affected by it positively.

This road bears amazing fruit. Such was the case with the Balfour Declaration, in the wake of which the State of Israel was established. It came after Jews settled Eretz Yisrael with much hard labor under Turkish rule. Hashem saw their love and devotion and sent the English Lord Balfour to enact a law of the British Empire saying that the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel.

Lord Balfour used to say that this declaration which bore his name was not his. It belonged to the entire British Empire and to all the major countries which approved it at the San Remo Conference. He used to say that this was the decision of the whole enlightened modern world that said that the entire Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel.

Am Yisrael is not Pharaoh, G-d forbid. But the path is the same, our goal is to cause the Government of Israel to enact a Law of Sovereignty, to invest in building settlements and roads and to banish all of our enemies. To enact a law that will authorize the settlement of all parts of Eretz Yisrael, in Area A and in Area B and in Area C. And we are confident that by virtue of the great love of the land which we saw yesterday, we will merit to witness Hashem's help in the fulfillment of all the prophecies, speedily, with our own eyes.



top