BESHALACH/SHABBAT SHIRAH 5776
The Jewish Nation has just been liberated from many years of bondage in Egypt and is sojourning towards their historic destiny. Pharaoh fearing for his life as a first born, literally chased them out as quickly as possible.
After three days of respite, Pharaoh realizes the enormous benefit that the Jewish People had been to Egypt and their disproportionate contribution to their economy, culture and world domination. He desperately wanted them back at any cost.
His hate for the emancipated Jews is so intense that he foregoes his stature as the King, hitches his own chariot, saddles his horse and with a promise to share the spoils, he influences his well-trained elite army of horsemen and charioteers to follow him into battle against the Jews.
The Jewish People encamped at the shore of the Sea with the Egyptian Army behind them, with no place to run or hide are trapped with limited options. They can fight the Egyptians; commit communal suicide (i.e. Masada); surrender and go back to Egypt; or pray to G-d.
Almighty G-d rejects all these ideas and tells Moses to direct the children of Israel to move forward. The only direction to move was the sea, bringing an obvious and natural sense of insecurity and seeming fear.
Suddenly a prince of Israel, Nachshon son of Aminadav from the tribe of Judah, leaps forward into the sea with total and unconditional faith in Hashem. Simultaneously with this selfless courageous act of complete faith, the sea split as the waters parted and the children of Israel followed Nachshon and Moses into the miraculously dry bed that had just appeared.
Though the miracles and wonders of G-d were definitely going to happen it necessitated an act that represented our commitment and belief. Though we do not rely on miracles, we should rely on the fact that our Father in Heaven will never abandon us, carrying us through the most difficult times and conditions. G-d creates and conducts everything in this world yet He expects us to do and act in accordance to His will, with reliance and dependence on His benevolent intervention in every aspect of our world.
Our world situation today has so confounded and convoluted our practical planning, strategic thinking and expectations that we too realize like our ancestors that only G-d can navigate us through the seeming impossible hurdles confronting us.
At the same time we must also put forward our own efforts in doing even that which is difficult. Like Nachshon leaping into the sea we must go “over the top” in maximizing our charitableness, prayers, Mitzvahs and acts of kindness to elicit G-d’s great love for us.
As Hashem parted the treacherous waters and led us to complete freedom and redemption so too will He lead us through our present maze of trials and tribulations to complete physical, emotional, psychological and inner freedom with peace of mind and soul.
Have a good Shabbos and a great week,
Rabbi Sholom D. Lipskar