Minor to Major
5 January, 2021
This discourse, taught by the Rebbe on the Shabbat of Sedra Shemot in January 1970, focuses on the first verse of the Haftorah (Isaiah 27:6) and the first verse of the Torah reading (Exodus 1:1). The Haftorah speaks of Jacob ‘planting’ the Jewish people, who then flourish mightily. The Sedra speaks of the children of Jacob coming to Egypt, where as we know, they will be enslaved, but also will become a great people. The theme of the discourse is the way that which is minor becomes major. The seed is often itself inedible, but it causes great growth. ‘Jacob’ is the more lowly term for the Jewish people, compared with ‘Israel’. Egypt is a place of enslavement. But it is from such lowly beginnings that one moves to the highest level of grandeur. This also applies to service of the Divine. Service without understanding, with simple ‘acceptance of the yoke of Heaven’, reaches the greatest heights.