T
he Jewish People are suffering through the servitude of Egypt. After being oppressed and persecuted for an extended period of time, they finally receive a message of redemption: Moshe relays the promise that Hashem will take them out, rescue them, and take them to the Promised Land. How do they react? Lo shamu el Moshe, they don’t (or can’t) listen. Why? Mikotzer ruach umei’avodah kashah. Their backbreaking labor and physical burdens caused a shortness of breath, an exhaustion and despair that blocked them from hearing any positive message of change.