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Yitro: Ohr HaChaim HaKdosh: Mitzvah 25 – Concept 1

“I am God, your Lord, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2) One must know that there is God. (Rambam, Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah – The Fundamentals of Torah)

The reason that God mentions both “The land of Egypt,” and “from the house of slavery,” is that God addressed both bodies and souls separately. He said, “I am God, your Lord,” in order to make it plain that He was speaking to the souls of the Jewish people.

A soul would be able to respond to God describing Himself in spiritual terms. It is quite possible that the departure of the souls from the bodies, described by the Sages, took place at the moment when God addressed the souls.

The souls then recognized their Maker. It is the essence of the souls that once they are no longer within a body they unite with their celestial origin. In heaven there is no separation.

When God described Himself as “Your Lord,” – singular – He indicated that the Jewish souls are a single unit even in the terrestrial world, which is essentially a world of division.

When addressing the body of the Jewish people, God identified Himself in more mundane language, “Who has taken your bodies out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Or Hachaim HaKadosh)

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