PARSHAT SHEMOT: By Rabbi Jesse Horn – Yeshivat HaKotel

There seems to be a significant contradiction between two of the Ramban’s central themes on Sefer Shmot. Firstly, the Ramban (introduction to Shmot) summarizes Sefer Shmot as a book of “Galut and Ge’ula,” beginning with Bnei Yisrael’s enslavement and concluding with Hashem dwelling among them in the Mishkan.

The ideal Torah concept of “king” differs greatly from the monarchs who rule over gentile peoples. A Hebrew king is the concentrated expression of the collective Israeli soul – Clal Yisrael – that manifests itself in our world through millions of bodies revealed in time and space as the Jewish people.

There is an interesting statistic I once heard. Lottery winners were asked five years after the event if they were happier now than before they became millionaires. Ninety-four percent said that they were less happy. Sometimes human nature is the opposite of what we would expect.

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