On 24th April 2014 the third in the series of memorial shiurim was held at the home of Miriam Crosbie. The shiur was given by Adira Abramson, a gifted and erudite speaker who spoke to us about “why did G-d need to make us slaves in Egypt”.
Here are Adira’s notes:
Based on ideas from Rabbi David Silber.
We started with a question about why did G-d need to make us slaves in Egypt. We noted that this oppression was of course planned from that outset by G-d in Brit ben Habitarim (see attached sources)
We strengthen the question by noticing that Abraham and Sara went through a “similar” type of oppression. (Ramban, maase avot siman lbanim) (see sources)
We made a fairly detailed examination of how Sara’s abduction, concern about Jewish man being killed…..plagues, leaving with property…. parallels the brit bein habetarim, and the Jewish nations experience in Egypt.
We emphasised that we don’t know much about why Abraham was chosen to build G-d’s nation initially, but we do learn a lot about the trials that he went through and his reactions.
It seems that the process of oppression (avdut, gerut, inuy) was crucial for Avraham ( the other forefathers and mothers too) in order to have the proper sensitivity and awareness of G-d in the world. Not only because Abraham has unique attributes was he chosen, he also needed to go through certain experiences, so too the Jewish people. Simply put, it built their characters.
We spoke about how Jane took her experiences in life, and “built her character,” so too we can try to approach trials with the attitude that the process will make us uniquely be able to serve G-d in the way that most realizes our potential. Our path is not meant to be a smooth one, the bumps take us where we are suppose to go…
Here are the sources that Adira used.