Shema-So What-Shemot-Ahavah Rabbah-Attach Us
“He said to his people, ‘Behold! The people, the Children of Israel are more numerous and stronger than we’ (Exodus 1:9).” In which way were the Children of Israel stronger than the Egyptians? Our sages teach that the Holy One, Blessed is He, says, “I rule over everything! Who rules over Me? The righteous man, as it is said, ‘The righteous man rules through his awe of the Lord.’” Pharaoh had no doubt that the source of the strength of the Children of Israel was that they were attached to God’s commandments. He therefore wanted to “outsmart them,” by doing whatever he could to break this attachment that they had to God. He intended to distract them from God, and poison their relationship with God, by making them suffer. (Kli Yakar)
“Enlighten our eyes in Your Torah, attach our hearts to Your commandments, and unify our hearts to love and fear Your Name, so that we may not feel inner shame nor be humiliated, nor stumble for all eternity.” Pharaoh’s strategy was to break the attachment we had to God and His commandments by humiliating us. This is one of the major strategies of the Evil Inclination; to do whatever is possible to sever our attachment to God and His Commandments. We therefore pray that God will help us maintain that attachment, not only to prevent us from humiliation, but also to protect us from the type of humiliation, shame, and suffering, that often lead to severing our attachment to God and His mitzvot.
We can also use this in combination with the Kavanah in, “Amidah-So What-Shemot-Peace.”