Daily Zohar 3244
76. מִצְרַיִם – שֶׁכָּתוּב (שמות כ) מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים. עֲבָדִים מַמָּשׁ נִקְרְאוּ, שֶׁהֲרֵי מִצְרַיִם הָיוּ בַּשִּׁפְלוּת שֶׁל שְׁאָר הָעַמִּים. בָּבֶל – שֶׁכָּתוּב (ישעיה כג) הֵן אֶרֶץ כַּשְׂדִּים זֶה הָעָם לֹא הָיָה. אֱדוֹם – שֶׁכָּתוּב (עובדיה א) הִנֵּה קָטֹן נְתַתִּיךָ בַּגּוֹיִם בָּזוּי אַתָּה מְאֹד.
“וַיָּקָם מֶלֶךְ חָדָשׁ עַל מִצְרָיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדַע אֶת יוֹסֵף.”
“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.”
The book of Rav Hamnuna Sava explains this verse and say that ‘New King’ is the aspect of strength that Egypt gained by having the Israelites in their land. Egypt became rich and controlled all the nations of the world when the Israelites dwelled in Egypt.
All the nations and kings that grew to become empires received their powers from the Israelites that were in exile in their lands.
Egypt was a very low nation before Joseph, Jacob and the 12 tribes came to Egypt.
“אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים לֹא יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים עַל פָּנָיַ.”
“I am YHVH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
The Babylonians that came later were low as described in the following verse: “this is the people which was not”.
“הֵן אֶרֶץ כַּשְׂדִּים זֶה הָעָם לֹא הָיָה אַשּׁוּר יְסָדָהּ לְצִיִּים הֵקִימוּ בחיניו עֹרְרוּ אַרְמְנוֹתֶיהָ שָׂמָהּ לְמַפֵּלָה.”
“Behold, the land of the Chaldeans– this is the people which was not; Assyria appointed it for desert creatures– they erected their siege towers, they stripped its palaces, they made it a ruin.”
The Edomites were also low as we read in Jeremiah 49:15
“כִּי הִנֵּה קָטֹן נְתַתִּיךָ בַּגּוֹיִם בָּזוּי בָּאָדָם”
“For behold, I have made you (Edom אֱדוֹם ) small among the nations, Despised among men.”
The Israelites souls are closer to YHVH because Abraham made the covenant with God and received the blessings to become a special nation with a great future. It comes with work. Abraham was a man of Chessed. He shared his food, blessings and spiritual beliefs with everyone whom he met. This high connection to Chessed is embedded in every Israelite soul and this light is radiated wherever Israelites are.
The lowest point on earth is the Dead Sea in Israel. Salt represents the desire for the self and the salinity of the Dead Sea is 33.7%. It tells us that in Israel we find the highest level of the desire for the self and at the same time the highest level of spirituality, which is the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
To receive the Light, we need to have a great desire for it because it’s challenging to connect and draw light on continuously.
The ancient empires were low and needed the Israelites with their big vessels to serve as tools to draw the Light and benefit from it. The Egyptians didn’t want to lose the flow of sustenance that they enjoyed while Joseph was second to Pharaoh so they decided to ‘lock’ them in Egypt doing the physical work. Exodus 1:14 “Ruthlessly they made life bitter for them with harsh labor in mortar and bricks and with all sorts of tasks in the field.”