Rabbi David Walk
There's probably no Biblical event more exhilarating or famous than the splitting of the
First of all, I'd like to convince you that we must view the actual departure from
Okay, now we have to figure out what are the ideas behind each event. Leaving
At what point does this chaos become order, this terror turn to composure? I think that this happens before the Sea splits. The turning point takes place when God tells Moshe to stop engaging the Deity in conversation, and begin instructing the nation. I believe that the seminal moment was Moshe's speech: Don't be afraid! Stand firm and see the Lord's salvation that He will wreak for you today, for the way you have seen the Egyptians is only today, but you shall no longer continue to see them ever again (14:13). This changed the equation for both the Jews and, perhaps even more importantly, for Moshe. Now we can begin to understand the famous expression: And they believed in God and Moshe, His servant.
Let's take another look at the four step process of the salvation described by the four languages of redemption. According to tradition, the first step was the cessation of slave labor with the beginning of the plagues. This probably took place six months earlier, when we celebrate Rosh Hashanah today. Then they actually left
The second Gerrer Rebbe (Rabbi Aryeh Yehudah Leib Alter, 1847-1905) explains this phenomenon in a slightly different way. He explains that the Jews were going from negative forces towards positive energy. This is based on the famous verse: Turn from evil and do good (Psalms 34:13). We must depart from the evil represented by
We have to observe similar patterns in our own lives. Before we can demonstrate constancy in our relationship with God, we must desist from behaviors deplored by God. Similarly, it's hard to get healthy, while we're still stuck in the unhealthful habits which made us sick in the first place. The Torah isn't just describing historical events, but also instructing us about eternally beneficial behavior patterns. Hopefully, when read this awesome poem we are inspired by the story's majesty to impact our lives.You can subscribe to Rabbi Walk's weekly articles at WalkThroughTheParshafirstname.lastname@example.org