people, G-d descended upon Mount Sinai and uttered the first of the Ten
Commandments: "I am the L-rd your G-d Who took you out of Egypt."
Of all the things G-d could have said at this climactic moment of Divine
revelation, why did He choose to remind the Jews that He had taken them
out of Egypt? Wouldn’t it have been more "dramatic" to refer to Himself
as the Creator of heaven and earth, or something equally as "big"? Isn’t
the fact that G-d created the world more significant than the Exodus
Chasidic philosophy explains that from a certain perspective the answer
is "no." The world was created (and continues to be sustained) ex
nihilo, "something from nothing." To a person this is indeed miraculous,
but to G-d, Who is infinite, it is "no big deal."
The Exodus, by contrast, was an even greater miracle. In order to take
the Jewish people out of Egypt, G-d had to alter the natural laws He had
already set in place, and to perform supernatural wonders. G-d had to
expend even more power, as it were, to break through the boundaries and
limitations He had already established.
We see this on a personal level as well. It is relatively easy to
accustom oneself to do the right thing from the beginning, but much
harder to alter negative habits that are already ingrained.
However, when G-d took our ancestors out of Egypt, He gave every Jew for
all generations the ability to transcend personal limitations. This
power to overcome negative behaviors and serve G-d to the fullest was
rooted within us with the Giving of the Torah, and has been part of our
inheritance ever since.