The Slippery Slope from Fear to Evil

Parashat Shemot

The first chapter of Shemot contains an important lesson for society: evil can be perpetrated more easily by a group than by an individual. The chapter sounds this warning: the evil of a decree doesn’t keep people from obeying it. To the contrary, a blanket permission to be evil is a lot easier to implement than one single point of evil. Moreover, an all-encompassing license is, by its very nature, difficult to control once it is released. On top of that: it often returns to visit itself on the people themselves who unleashed it. (5777)