Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Mussar Drosha: Beshalach
Baruch Hashem, we have the privilege to continue along with the B’nei Yisroel out of Mitzraim - now heading into Krias Yam Suf/The Splitting of The Sea.
So, we read in the first passuk/verse that Hashem did not lead us by way of the land of the Plishtim because it was close - because He said (if He said it - that means He knew it) ‘lest the people reconsider when they see a war; and they return to Mitzraim.’
So, if you look in Rabbeinu Bachya zt”l, he writes (translated from the Hebrew): “And Rabbeinu Chananel z”l writes that He led them the way of the Wilderness for another reason; and it is to multiply His Signs and Wonders, because if He had led them the way of the land of the Plishtim - the close one - and HaKadosh Baruch Hu had put in their heart that He would give them permission to cross over the way of their land, and He did not delay them altogether, it would have been a “light” Sign. (It would have been a “less dangerous” way, in some ways). And therefore, it obligated (required) the Wisdom to go in a circuitous manner by way of the Wilderness to make the great and many Signs - with the Descending of the Mon, and the Going up of the Quail, and the Going out of Water from the Rock, because, according to that they were far from returning (to Mitzraim), that they should stand up to the people of those places.”
If you skip a bit, he writes further: “And know, that all the topics of Yisroel (the Jews) and their happenings in the Wilderness - they were a complete test in order to make their Souls greater - the intellect of the levels of Bitachon/trust in Hashem, which is the root of Emunah/faith in Hashem, in order that they would be fit to receive the Torah. And for this reason, He split the sea for them so that they should cross into its midst - and not at one time. Also, after they went out from the Sea of Reeds to the Wilderness of Shur and they came to Marah, and the waters were sweet - and they returned and became bitter. And, through the tree they returned to being sweet. And all this was a complete test - and like the topic that is written ‘and He tested them’. Also, with the descending of the Mon was a matter of a day in it’s day - and not for many days - it was all a complete test, (the Mon fell as much as needed each and every day - not just a lot at big intervals), like the topic that it is written ‘And they will gather it a day in itself in order to test them’. Also, after they were in Rephidim and they loosened their grip from the Torah which they received in Marah, (Rashi HaKadosh from Mechilta and Gemara Sanhedrin 56b explains that we were given three rules to learn and keep in Marah), and as a punishment for this, Amalek (YM”S) came and waged war on them, because for the sin of wasting time instead of learning Torah, the troubles come to the world (Mechilta; Gemara Bechoros). All these topics were a complete test, in order to root in their Souls the trait of Bitachon/trust in Hashem…… for the trait of Bitachon/trust in Hashem is a great main thing (ikkar) and Foundation of the Torah the Mitzvah.”
At first, this does not seem very connected to our verse: But look again: The Jews would have turned back at that time if they saw a war - that, in a way, was a lack of faith in Hashem. With the proper trust in Him - they wouldn’t have been afraid! Hashem will protect!
Hashem saw this in us - and He understood that He needed to lead us through the Wilderness in order to root Bitachon/trust in Hashem in our hearts.
So, this is actually a very big lesson for us: In our own lives, we face “wars” - whether with the Yetzer Hara, a tough situation (both Rachmana Litzlan/may the Merciful One save us), etc. But we must understand that Hashem is with us, “fighting” so to speak, alongside us.
But, being humans, there will be scary moments - there are dangerous things out there (Rachmana Litzlan). But HaRav Yosef Leib Bloch zt”l writes (Shiurei Daas) that the dangers and forces of the world are like a dog on a leash. If, (Rachmana Litzlan and Chas V’Shalom) the animal tries to hurt you - what do you do? Call out to the master! He can pull the leash and “make sure” that the dog does not get you. But if, Chas V’Shalom, the person does not recognize the presence of the owner - they are in big trouble! Similarly, he says, if a person, Chas V’Shalom, does not recognize the Presence of Hashem - the Master of all - they they are in danger.
But in that case - if we do recognize Him and His Presence, with His Help, then obviously, we are extremely safe!
So, we must realize and “meditate” on the fact that Hashem is the One and Only G-d, and that He controls everything. And, if we can understand this and take it to heart, with His Help, we will have no reason to fear things (aside from Him, of course)! We always have watching over us the One Who controls all. Think about that!
And, as I usually like to do, I would like to, with Hashem’s Help, share with you a story on this topic:
“Please Rebbe, you must help me” wept the stricken Jew before Rebbe Mordechai of Neschiz zt”l: The Rebbe asked him what the trouble was and the man replied that he was critically ill. He had consulted many doctors, but none of them held out any hope for him. “Only you can help me, Rebbe, now that all hope is gone!” he said. “Hmmm. And have you been to the specialist from Anipoli yet?” the Rebbe asked.
The ill man wrinkled his forehead in surprise and replied that he had not heard of him and not seen him yet. “Well then, you should go to him at once.” the Rebbe advised.
Hope rekindled in his heart, the dying man packed a few belongings and went to Anipoli. The journey was not comfortable in the least, but finally, he reached Anipoli. The man jumped out of the coach - already feeling better.
He stopped the first person walking by and asked him where the specialist lived. The man looked at him in bewilderment and replied “Specialist? Here, in Anipoli? There is no specialist living here! You must be mistaken.”
The dying man told the passerby that there was no mistake - a great man sent him there to consult the specialist about his illness.
He turned away from the passerby, found another local resident and asked him about the specialist. The man looked at him as if he were crazy and told him that they didn’t even have their own doctor!
The dying man now realized he must have made a mistake; but still, the Rebbe had sent him here. There must be some explanation.
“Well then, what do you do here when someone becomes ill?” he asked falteringly. “Now that is a different question altogether,” the man said. “If someone falls ill, we pray to Hashem to cure him. It is as simple as that!”
Crestfallen, the Jew saw that he had nothing else to seek in Anipoli and took the first coach back to Neschiz. He returned to Reb Mordechai zt”l and poured out his painful story to him - telling him that there was no specialist in Anipoli - they didn’t even have a general practitioner, and that his trip was all in vain.
The Rebbe raised his eyes questioningly. “And what do people do when someone becomes ill? Did you find out?” “Yes” the unhappy Jew replied weakly “Since they have no doctor, they pray to Hashem to cure them.”
“Aha!” said the Rebbe triumphantly, “That is the answer. That is the Specialist I wanted you to consult. Hashem! He is the Ultimate Healer. He is the One to Whom you must turn in your suffering and pain for only He can help you! As it says in the Torah (in this parsha) ‘For I am Hashem your Healer.’ (From Tales of Tzaddikim; Shemos, p. 94-96).
We must realize all the Miracles that Hashem does for us in our own lives - as He leads us through the “Wilderness” of the modern world. And this will help us to trust in Him, as HaRav Moshe Tuvia Lieff shlita says (in one of his shiurim on TorahAnytime.com).
Then, as He continues to lead us, if we, Rachmana Litzlan, encounter any kind of tough situation or anything like that, we will not turn back and ‘return to Mitzraim’ (see the Nikolsburger Rebbe shlita on the first verse of this parsha). We will continue to try to move forward with Hashem’s aid through our entire lives in this world.
May Hashem help everyone to always get through the hardships of life, Amein vi’Amein.
I wish every single person a wonderful week! Kol Tuv!
at 9:51:00 AM