Rabbi Avraham Brandwein, Jerusalem 5
At the end of our Parsha it is written, "It happened on that very day, Hashem
took the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt."
Immediately afterwards, they were given the Mitzvah of wearing Tefillin (Phylacteries),
as it is written, "And it will be for you a sign on your arm, and for
a remembrance between your eyes."
It is well known that the meaning of wearing Tefillin on the left arm corresponds
to the heart, which is on the left side, and the wearing of the Tefillin
on the head corresponds to the brain.
These two organs are the most important within a person. Also from a spiritual
aspect, the heart symbolizes the will and desire within the soul of a person.
In the brain is the place of thought, which plans how to bring into action
those desires which come from the heart. Nothing is done without these two
organs being at the outset.
We find at the beginning of Parshas Vayechi, Rashi explains that when the Bnei
Yisroel went down to the Land of Goshen and Yaakov passed away, "The
eyes and hearts of Israel were closed, from the suffering of enslavement."
The meaning is that when one works for physical, material needs, the will and
thought are already unbalanced and not properly weighted. What was balanced
becomes egotistically derived, and thereby, even with regard to their actions,
a person is already not objective, since they have become enslaved to the
needs of their body. They cannot think of or desire positive things and altruistic
actions, since they have become a slave to their body.
This is the meaning of. "We were slaves to Paroh in Egypt." This
is the true exile and also the exile of Da'as (Knowledge).
Therefore, after the deliverance comes the Mitzvah of Tefillin, which corresponds
to the heart, as we say in prayer, before placing on the Tefillin, "That
my brain, heart, and all of my senses be subservient to the His work, may
His Name be blessed."
This is the true Geulah (deliverance), from slavery to freedom, as it is written
in the Ten Commandments, in Parshas Vaeschanan, "And you will remember
that you were a slave to Paroh in Egypt, therefore I command you, etc."
Rashi says, "On this condition I redeemed you, in order that you should
keep my Mitzvos," since when we are servants to Hashem, who is lofty and
exalted above us, we are found in true freedom, for even our heart, desire
and thought, will bring us to do good deeds."