April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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“ויהי בשלח פרעה את העם….”

Parshas Beshalach begins with Bnei Yisroel having left Mitzrayim, on their way, in the desert. We are on the cusp of an amazing era for the Jewish people; the birth of a nation!  Klal Yisroel has just witnessed the ultimate supremacy of Hashem through the Makkos and their incredible Exodus from the land and nation that had enslaved and tortured them for hundreds of years.

Previously, in fact, the most powerful and recognized kingdom in all the world at that time. What a moment!

And yet, as the first few days in the desert pass, Bnei Yisroel find themselves in an impossible situation. As they look ahead, they see a large body of water. To their right and left, large mountains and hills. Turn back? The army of Paroah is pursuing them. Stuck. Desperate. Fearful. Hopeless?

They cry out to Hashem and then turn to Moshe,

“המבלי אין קברים במצרים לקחתנו למות במדבר – מה זאת עשינו לנו להוציאנו ממצרים”

“Are there not enough graves in Mitzrayim that you had to take us to die in the desert? What did you do to us by taking us out of Mitzrayim?”

A desperate nation. It seems  as if their “good luck” has just run out. It’s over. Their excitement was short -lived. Right?

Moshe Rabbeinu, the paradigm for all leaders, responds by infusing renewed hope and belief into his broken hearted nation, “אל־תיראו התיצבו וראו את־ישועת ה’ אשר־יעשה לכם היום כי אשר ראיתם את־מצרים היום לא תספו לראתם עוד עד־עולם ה’ ילחם לכם ואתם תחרשון”

“Do not be afraid. Stand tall (with pride) and see the yeshua that Hashem will do for you on this day. Because today you see the Mitzrim, but you will not continue to see them forever. Hashem will fight for you and you will be silent (perhaps speechless).”

The greatest miracle of all is about to occur. Open your eyes in your moment of despair, Hashem is with you, He will fight for you, and when you witness it, you will be so sure of the greatness of Hashem that you will be speechless. And in fact we know that right after Krias Yam Suf, Klal Yisroel is so overcome with this great miracle that the women take out their instruments and Bnei Yisroel sing praises to Hashem.

While we may not find ourselves stuck physically in between a “rock and a hard place,” (or water, mountains, and an attacking army) as Bnei Yisroel were by the Yam Suf,  we all find ourselves stuck from time to time in situations of great difficulty and challenge. We have moments of illuminating light and blessing in our lives and moments that are cold and dark. In Moshe Rabbeinu’s response to his broken nation, we learn a secret. The secret of Emunah. Hashem is with you, always. He did not bring you out of Egypt to die. He brought you here to make you His nation. It won’t be easy. The process of life will be hard. There will be ups and downs. Such is life.  Growth. But I am always here for you. Turn to me. Believe in me. Use your challenges to grow.

In fact, the very essence of טו בשבט, which falls out this week, is about renewed hope during a barren, desolate winter. The holiday of the trees in the middle of winter? Almost humorous. Yet it is not a mistake. When things seem at their lowest. When you are right in the middle of a long winter. Short days. Darkness. Loneliness. Remember that the bud is already blooming. The illuminating light and magnificent bracha is on its way. Hold onto your hope, your Emunah and embrace your challenge as an opportunity to grow.


Chana Greenberg has been teaching at RYNJ for the past 14 years. She is a 5th grade Morah, as well as a learning center specialist for middle school students. She can be reached at [email protected].

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