Question: Is there an exodus from Egypt by force?
Answer: Of course, everything happens forcefully. Without the Creator’s “plagues” and without the pressure from Pharaoh we wouldn’t come out of Egypt. As it says, it’s actually Pharaoh who brought the children of Israel closer to the Creator, when He provided the unbearable conditions for them. Did He think that they wouldn’t run from Him, but that they would actually love Him?
If Pharaoh operated on the Creator’s side, as the Creator’s force, if the Creator didn’t force the ego to be the source of all our troubles, we wouldn’t try to break free from it. The Creator creates the difficulties for us so that we, while wanting to exit our ego, will become like Him. Therefore it says that Pharaoh brought the children of Israel closer to our Father in Heaven. The Creator always operates in concealment.
When the people of Israel escape from Egypt, Pharaoh follows them and surrounds them sending them into the sea. The chase helps the people of Israel advance in the right direction. Even when you escape the ego, you are not totally free from it unless you jump into the Red Sea. Then all of Pharaoh’s army that has been chasing you drowns in it.
Jumping into the Red Sea is the final phase in the process of the exit from exile. The name the Red Sea, Yam Suf (Suf-Sof – meaning end in Hebrew) actually indicates that that you have reached the end of Egypt. Then Pharaoh returns but in another form; it isn’t Pharaoh anymore, but Amalek and other foes.
From KabTV’s “Kabbalists Write: The Night of Passover Seder” 3/4/13