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The Crown of Halacha

Beshelach 5777 – Seeing is Believing

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Shemos

Beshelach 5777 – Seeing is Believing

“Hashem saved, on that day, Yisrael from the hand of Egypt, and Yisrael saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Yisrael saw the great hand that Hashem inflicted upon Egypt and the people feared Hashem, and they had faith in Hashem and Moshe, His servant.” (Shmos 14:30-31)

Why Did it Take the Jews in Egypt So Long to Believe in Hashem?

The BaisHalevi, in his commentary on the Haggada, brings a Midrash which says, “Until this moment BnaiYisrael did not fear Hashem. From here and on they feared Hashem…” It is perplexing that until now, even after seeing all the punishments inflicted on the Egyptians, the Jews did not fear Hashem. Furthermore, after seeing Hashem perform many miracles and wonders associated with the makos(plagues) why didn’t we believe in Hashem and Moshe, while we were in Egypt? Why were the miracles at Kriyas Yam Suf different from all the miracles that happened in the land of Egypt?

One Answer Often Given:

BnaiYisrael did not truly believe they were free until they actually saw the Egyptians washed up on the shore. When they saw this, they believed in Hashem and His servant Moshe.

The Jews in Egypt Lived a Somewhat Natural Existence

The BaisHalevi Suggests Another Possible Answer:

There is a stark contrast between the miracles in Egypt and the miracles at Yam Suf. In Egypt, the miracles happened to the Egyptians. Their water turned to blood, their land was filled with frogs, their dust turned to lice, etc. Yet, all the while, BnaiYisrael led a peaceful and natural existence. It was natural that their water remained water, no frogs invaded their land, their dust did not turn to lice, etc. Life for the Jew went on quite normally.

Hashem Reveals Himself by Changing Nature

At Kriyas Yam Suite opposite occurred. Miracles began happening to BnaiYisrael. The Yam split into a wide path for every shevet (tribe). The muddy floor became hard and flat. All varieties of fruit trees appeared for the hungry and fresh water spouted from the walls to quench their thirst.

Something Unusual:

This was the turning point forBnaiYisrael because up until then, the Jews had not personally experienced a miracle. At the splitting of the sea every single Jew was escorted by Hashem and only after the last Jew was safely across, did the sea resume its natural state and drown the Egyptians.

Miracles Happen to Us Daily: Do We See Them?

It is common to remain less affected by something miraculous that happens to others and not to ourselves. It is much easier to see and say that hasgacha pratis in someone else’s life is more obvious than our own. For example, if we hear that our friend wins the lottery does this give us chizuk that Hashem blesses everyone with a parnasa? If someone trips do we think to ourselves that we should be more careful?

In Egypt, the Jews saw the Hashem’s manifestation of miracles but did not apply it to themselves. It took kriyas yam suf to teach us the lesson of believing in Hashem. However, if we are aware Hashem in our lives it doesn’t have to take nearly being killed to install emunah. By realizing the blessings we have we can reach the level of emunah that the Jews had at kriyas yam suf. Just as the Jews miraculously crossed through a parted sea, wouldn’t you agree that your chosen path in life was wrought with miracles each step of the way? Just count each step.

 

Series Navigation<< BO 5777 – Torah Torah Torah!Yitro 5777 – Remember Hashem’s Wrath >>
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