Dubno Maggid: Shemot I
The 17th of Tevet is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yaakov Krantz, Dubnow Maggid (1741-1804). Born in a province of Vilna, Jacob ben Wolf Kranz showed exceptional homiletical and Kabalistic talents at an early age, and by the age of twenty became the darshan of his city. From there he began preaching through the cities of around Lublin in Poland, finally settling in Dubnow. His reputation as a Maggid spread, bringing him in contact with the great rabbis of the period, including the Vilna Gaon. The majority of his works were in homiletics, using stories and parables to transmit deeper ethical and moral teachings.
Why was Jacob sent down to Egypt? Why did he have to suffer exile? Jacob was sent down to Egypt so that all would see that he returned to Israel, and they would understand and believe that they too would return to Israel.
This was a sign for the righteous of all generations, when they suffer; they can look to Jacob and understand that their exile and troubles will end.