Suffering and Salvation

In my last post, I presented a portion of one of the Maggid’s discourses on Koheles. The discourse that follows that one echoes the same theme.
Shlomo HaMelech declares (Koheles 7:8): “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than arrogance.” The Midrash links this verse to Moshe’s complaint to Hashem after the meeting he and Aharon had with Pharaoh that led Pharaoh to intensify the Jewish People’s servitude. Moshe said (Shemos 5:27): “My Lord, why have You done evil to this people; why have You sent me? From the time I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name he did evil to this people, and You did not save Your people.” The Midrash relates that Hashem responded as follows (Shemos Rabbah 6:2):
I wrote about you that you are humble, and you are fussing over My words? By your life, you should know that it is written: “The end of a matter is better than its beginning.” Israel’s end will be better than the beginning I set out for them in Egypt.
The Maggid explains that everything that Hashem brought upon the Jewish People in Egypt was designed for their ultimate benefit. Building on the multiple meanings of the Hebrew prefix mem, the Maggid reads Shlomo’s declaration as saying that the Jewish People’s glorious end stemmed from their toilsome beginning. It was on account of the intensified servitude that the Jews suffered in Egypt that they ultimately flourished so exceedingly.
In his commentary on Eichah 1:6, the Maggid makes the same point in regard to our current exile. The afflictions we suffer in exile fuel our eventual redemption. There, too, the Maggid builds on the multiple meanings of the prefix mem, to read Yirmiyah 30:7 in the following way: “It is a time of trouble for Yaakov, but through it he will be saved.”
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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