AND IT SHALL BE FOR A SIGN.
The lessons of the Torah are not to remain in the mind. “And you shall know (VEYADAATA) today and bring it DOWN TO YOUR HEART that HaShem is the G-d in the heavens above and on the earth below, there is none other” (Deut. 4:39). The Exodus was the greatest ever revelation in history so far of DAAS — the “knowledge” that G-d governs this world. The institution of the religion founded upon this event is marked in our parashah with the giving of the first practical commandments through which we keep this knowledge alive from generation to generation and make it palpable and literally tangible in our lives.
The highly tangible act of eating the Pesach sacrifice (or celebrating the Seder night) from year to year keeps the memory of the Exodus alive, stimulating questions from little children, giving the adults the opportunity to hand down the tradition and grow themselves in the process. A farmer’s cow or sheep gives birth to a first-born, which he presents to the priest in memory of the saving of the Israelite first-born. A first-born boy is born and must be “redeemed” from the priest. First thing in the day, the Israelite takes leather straps, symbols of bondage, and uses them to bind himself to G-d and literally bind G-d’s words and wisdom to his very body, with the Tefilin. “And it shall be for a sign on your hand and for frontlets between your eyes that with the strength of hand HaShem brought us out of Egypt” (Ex. 13:16, closing words of the parashah.) Through practical acts of devotion, we bring the knowledge of G-d into our hearts. This is our part in displacing Pharaoh.
Lukas 21:25-33 (OJB)
25 And there will be otot (miraculous signs) in the shemesh (sun) and the levanah (moon) and the kochavim (stars), and upon the earth there will be dismay among the Goyim, in perplexity at the sound of the sea and the waves;
26 Bnei Adam will be fainting from pachad (terror) and from expectation of the things coming upon the Olam Hazeh, for the kochot (powers) of the heavens will be shaken.
27 And then you will see the Ben HaAdam (Moshiach, DANIEL 7:13-14) and his Bias HaMoshiach on an Anan (Cloud) with gevurah (miraculous power of Hashem) and kavod rav (great glory).
28 And when the Reshit (the Beginning) of these things occurs, stand erect and lift up your roshim (heads), because your Geulah (Redemption) draws near.
29 And Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach told a mashal (parable) to them. You see the etz te’enah (fig tree) and all the etz.
30 When they sprout leaves already, you see for yourselves and you have daas that Kayits (Summer) is already near.
31 So also you, when you see these things happening, you have daas that the Malchut Hashem is near.
32 Omein, I say to you, that HaDor HaZeh will not pass away until all these things may occur.
33 HaShomayim and HaAretz will pass away, but my Dvarim will by no means pass away.