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    Rabbi Shimon
    Schwab Said: I Have A
    The Torah teaches
    that “G-d placed the
    favor of the people in
    the eyes of Egypt”
    [Shemos 11:3]. Prior to leaving Egypt, the
    Jews obtained gold and silver utensils and
    articles of clothing from their Egyptian
    neighbors. This was a fulfillment of a
    promise that G-d had made to Avraham “…
    and afterwards they will go out with great
    possessions” [Bereishis 15:14]. The fact that
    G-d placed the favor of the people in the
    eyes of the Egyptians to the extent that they
    were willing to give them their valuables —
    never to see them again — was indeed
    Perhaps there could have been a more
    congruous method of fulfilling G-d’s
    promise to Avraham. Perhaps it would have
    made more sense if “G-d placed the FEAR
    of the people in the eyes of Egypt”. After all
    that had transpired during the Ten Plagues,
    the Egyptians were now in awe of the Jews.
    Therefore, the more logical way for this
    event to occur would have been for the

    Egyptians to give the Jews their valuables
    out of mortal fear, rather than out of ‘favor’.
    Rabbi Baruch Leff comments that the fact
    that the wealth was transferred to the Jews in
    that way teaches us something about the
    Exodus. The Exodus from Egypt, our Sages
    tell us, was the paradigm for all future
    redemption. If we want to know how the
    future redemption will take place, we must
    examine the prototype of redemption that
    occurred in Egypt. In effect, this means that
    before we leave this last bitter exile, “G-d
    will place the favor of His nation into the
    eyes of the nations”.
    Before we leave, the nations must admire
    us. They will have warm feelings towards
    us. They will love us. That is because the
    prophet Isaiah said that the role of the Jewish
    people in the Exile is to be a “light unto the
    nations” [42:6]. This concept has
    unfortunately been borrowed and twisted
    and misconstrued in all different types of
    wrong ways. But the fact remains that Isaiah
    the prophet told us that we are supposed to
    be a “light unto the nations” – a shining
    example to the nations of what a human
    being is supposed to look like. The purpose
    of this world is to fill the world in its entirety

    with the Glory of G-d. Not only the Jews of
    the world, but all of humanity should come
    to the recognition that there is one G-d who
    created this world and takes an active role in
    this world. Jews are supposed to be the
    medium of that message.
    The Netziv (1817-1893) writes that had we
    not sinned and had we remained in the Land
    of Israel and had we fulfilled our mission by
    living a proper life style in the Land of Israel,
    then we would have never had to go into
    Exile. Unfortunately, we did not do that and
    G-d had to send us into Exile. Our job in
    Exile is to be this shining example of what a
    person is supposed to be.
    The pasuk [verse] says “And all the
    inhabitants of the land will see that the Name
    of G-d is written upon you, and they will fear
    you” [Devorim 28:10]. The Talmud teaches
    [Berochos 6a] that this refers to the Tephillin
    that are worn on the head. The Vilna Gaon
    comments that the Talmudic reference is the
    homiletic (Drush) teaching of the pasuk.
    But, the Vilna Gaon asks, what is the ‘simple’
    (pshuto) interpretation of the pasuk? There is
    a principle in Biblical interpretation that a
    pasuk always has a simple interpretation
    [Shabbos 63a]. So what is the simple

    interpretation of this
    pasuk? The Gaon said
    that the simple
    interpretation of this
    pasuk is that when a
    Gentile sees a Jew, he
    should immediately
    recognize that the
    Name of G-d is
    written upon him. He
    should immediately
    realize, “This is a holy
    We have not yet
    arrived at that point.
    The paradigm of the Exodus from Egypt is
    that until we reach the level of “the favor of
    the nation is in the eyes of Egypt”, signifying
    that the Gentiles respect and admire and
    cherish us, unfortunately, we are not holding
    at the level of redemption. This is the ideal
    for which we must strive.
    Unfortunately, if that indeed will be the
    standard, one must wonder how close the
    redemption is today. We look forward to the
    time when the recognized definition of a
    “Jew” will be a definition that will make us
    all proud.