There's something especially beautiful about reading the Torah as a personal roadmap.
From this angle, the Torah's narrative about our slavery in Egypt becomes the deeply relevant story of our personal struggles and successes.
The Egyptian oppression was something of a double-edged sword.
The Torah vigorously denounces man’s inhumanity to man. At the same time, Torah wisdom points to that horrible experience as an important contribution to our maturation as a people.
In short: We grew from the struggle.
The fact that we received the Torah [at Mount Sinai] directly after the Egyptian slavery is an indication that our 'Egyptian journey' was a preliminary to receiving the Torah.
What is this positive ‘Egypt Process’ in contemporary terms? It is the journey of self-refinement, which helps us to reach our own “Mount Sinai”.
We can't seriously hope to achieve self-actualization, while sitting on a beach chair and sipping a margarita.
Self-betterment takes serious work. It’s an internal battle. It’s the ”Egypt Process” in a positive sense, which we need to undergo on the way to our own liberation.
Scripture describes one method employed by the Egyptian slave masters as being: “[back]breaking work”.
What does that mean specifically/
The Egyptians understood that people naturally develop behavioral patterns which become uncomfortable to overcome.
So, the Egyptians devised a devilish plan to break the Hebrews' body and spirit:
They didn't just burden the Jews with physical work; they chose work which grated against their ingrained habits and self-image.
In the Talmud's words: "They gave women’s work to the men and men's work to the women." They didn’t want to simply assign difficult work; that would only break the body, and they maliciously wanted to break our spirit as well.
This negativity also translates into the positive “ Egypt Process” in our own self-development.
One of life’s greatest straitjackets is our own habits and patterns. They're so ingrained it's difficult to even notice them, which makes these habits especially insidious and excruciating to change.
That’s why addressing them is such an important step toward our Mount Sinai.
We can find the strength, the self-awareness and the fearless commitment to move toward our best selves. We can overcome our own deeply ingrained behavioral patterns. It’s a bit strenuous, but there’s no other way to reach your Mount Sinai.