Yetziat Mitzrayim, the Exodus from Egypt, is our model of trauma survival as individuals and as a nation.
Bechol dor v'dor..."In every generation one must see himself as having left Egypt."
if we are to leave it in the past and if we are to learn from it, must
be out in the open. It must be exposed, talked about, processed, and
We are commanded to remember the Exodus, Yetziat Mitzrayim, and talk about it every single day.
Not a day can go by where we can afford to forget what happened to us.
Forty years of wandering in a desert of recovery, must not be kept a secret.
God wants us to talk about it. Even
if talking exposes our family's mistakes and embarrasses us. For example, Moshe hit the
rock and didn't talk to it...We can learn from this to talk to even the most stubborn and hard among us.
Don't hit the rock.
Talk to it.
in a dialogue.
Violence is not the way to go.
If we don't remember, acknowledge, and talk about our traumas we are doomed to repeat them.
Traumatized people who keep their past a secret are likely to repeat history.
We tend to deny, minimize, rationalize, forget...and then repeat.
We are commanded by the Torah, to own our trauma, to own our recovery, to own our
past. We are commanded to acknowledge just Who it is who walks us out of an
abusive situation, into the desert of therapy, where we begin to
Therapy is messy.
Lonely as a desert.
Therapy after trauma takes a long time.
As a nation it took us forty years.
is full of mistakes, and acting out, and consequences. We complained,
we whined, we wanted to go back to Mitzrayim, because at least it was
At least there, we knew what to expect.
In Mitzrayim, among our abusers, we had an identity. We were slaves.
Victims. In the aftermath we rejected truth and worshiped a golden calf. A fantasy God. We denied and ignored reality.
trauma victims leaving Mitzrayim we struggled to make sense of what
happened to us. We forgot, and we still forget, that we are being held
by God. We deny that our every need was, and still is, being cared
God understood, and understands that trauma survivors are needy,
immature, and confused. We are struggling for a sense of identity. Who
are we, if not victims? What happened to us? Was it really so bad? Maybe abuse was
better than this lonely and confusing desert of recovery.
Surviving, and getting to Israel took a lot longer than we thought it would.
are commanded by God to never forget that we were slaves. We were victims of trauma.
And to know that now we are survivors.
We survived the years in the dessert, as difficult as they were.
We did eventually get to Eretz Yisrael.
It was not without struggle and tremendous loss.
Many didn't make it.
We are commanded to acknowledge our survival, and to know with our entire being, that it was indeed miraculous.
And that it had nothing to do with us.
Alone we never could have left.
God we could never have survived. It was God who took us out, who
saved us, and loved us unconditionally as we healed as a nation,
wandering in the lonely desert for forty years.
It is God, in every
generation who takes us out of abusive situations, who loves us
unconditionally, in spite of our mistakes, and who holds us, and
provides for our every need as we wander for years on end in the
confusing, hot, and lonely desert of recovery.
Trauma and Survival must never be kept a secret.
Talking about Trauma is the secret of our survival as individuals and as a nation.
Then, now, and always.