Kabbalah and the prophecy of the Egyptian exile

Chapter 1 of the essay 'The Kabbalah of Information on Freedom of Choice, Tzimtzum, and the Physics of Spacetime'

Ladislav Šaloun's statue of Judah Loew ben Bezalel (The Maharal) at the New City Hall of Prague in the Czech Republic. (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
Ladislav Šaloun's statue of Judah Loew ben Bezalel (The Maharal) at the New City Hall of Prague in the Czech Republic.
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
< See introductionContinue to chapter 2 >  | See all chaptersIn the chapter Lech Lecha of Bereishit we read, 'Know surely that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance. But thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. And in the fourth generation they shall come back hither; for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full' (15:13-16). Our Sages have offered many commentaries and opinions on the topic of why Jews were condemned to exile, but this issue lies beyond the scope of this article. We are faced with a dilemma: If G-d told Avram about the fate of his unborn descendants, did they have a choice to avoid exile?
Judah Loew ben Bezalel (The Maharal), an outstanding halachic scholar, philosopher and kabbalist of the 16th century, dedicated a major portion of his book Gevurot Havaya to this issue. Here are a few excerpts from it: 'G-d had revealed the decree of exile to Avram long before the leaders of the generations were born (Joseph and his brothers). So how could they have caused it? All those who have eyes shall see that, rather, the opposite is correct. The decree of exile was the reason why Joseph was sold into slavery, not the other way around.'
'The decree to go down to Egypt was the cause of selling Joseph into slavery, not the other way around. G-d himself was involved in Joseph's enslavement to make the decree come true.'
'The words of Joseph himself further prove it. He said to his brothers, "I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. And now be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for G-d did send me before you to preserve life".' (Genesis, 45:4-5).
'That is why the Torah does not treat Joseph's brothers as guilty of selling him as HaShem Himself arranged it.'
'Every episode of the exile occurred in accordance with the utterly precise, pre-ordained plan of HaShem.'
Then the Maharal writes, 'It is incorrect to say that selling Joseph was the reason for the exile. This makes no sense. On the contrary, the exile to Egypt was the reason Joseph was sold into slavery.'
From the evidence offered above, we can conclude that Avram's descendants did not have a choice to avoid exile. The author fully agrees with this conclusion.
Besides, we know of other prophecies that have determined future events, such as the coming of Mashiach, the resurrection of the dead and so on. Here, a reasonable question arises: how do we combine a predetermined future with free will?
To try and answer this question, we refer to science, the Kabbalah of Information, examples from the Torah, and many other sources.
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