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Perashat Beshalah 5778

Home > Rabbi's Weekly Message > Perashat Beshalah 5778

Perashat Beshalah 5778

Friday, January 26, 2018 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

In this week's perasha we read about Keri'at Yam Soof, the splitting of the Sea, which is the culminating event of Yesiat Missrayim. There is a question that every person who studies this perasha should ask: Why did Hashem need to perform another miracle, the splitting of the sea? Were the ten plagues not enough to convince the people present of all His power?

Hashem, in his infinite wisdom, desired to free Am Yisrael from Egypt not only physically but also spiritually. It was necessary to free them from the influence of Egypt and to bring them to a level of complete Emunah, faith in Him. Although Am Yisrael had already witnessed the miracles of the ten plagues, they only experienced them as spectators, and thus, it was merely a theoretical lesson. This would not withstand the test when the nation was confronted directly with overwhelming obstacles. Hashem therefore used the miracle of the splitting of Yam Soof so that they would understand real Emunah on a practical level. 

Let's examine how this occurred. The sea was in front of them. The enraged Egyptians were behind. Dangerous terrain full of snakes and scorpions was at their sides. What could they do in this situation to save themselves in their helpless and hopeless situation? The clearest option was to cry out to Bore Olam from the depths of their hearts. The outcomes of that prayer were miracles that, according to the Haggadah, were at least five times greater than the ten Makkot. They experienced prophetic visions that only the greatest Nebi'im were able to see. They benefited from the treasures of the Egyptian army they gathered from the shores of the Yam Soof. But above and beyond all else, they acquired a deep Emunah and trust in Hashem.

We can learn from our ancestors who left Egypt and crossed the Yam Soof. We must remember that Hashem's deliverance could arise from unimaginable places. The last thing Am Yisrael would have ever predicted was that the sea would split. As one stands in prayer, distressed over a predicament with seemingly no solution at hand, one should not despair. From Keri'at Yam Soof we learn that Hashem's ways are miraculous and unknowable. This thought gives one tremendous strength to pray to Hashem in every situation, even when one thinks that they are at the point of no return.

This is the meaning of the comparison our Sages make between one's parnasa and the splitting of the sea [Gemara Pesahim 118a]. You can't and don't have to know how Hashem will bring about your salvation. You must have faith that Hashem put you in this situation and has already prepared for you a solution of which you could have never dreamed.

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