Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Beshalach

This Shabat is the Shabat of shira - of song. The rejoicing of the people of Israel at their salvation from the hands of Pharaoh was celebrated and is commemorated until today by the great poem and song of Moshe and Israel. This year, our song is enhanced by the fact that the new year of trees - TU B'SHVAT - falls on the day of Shabat of Bshalach. In my opinion, there is a strong connection between the parsha of Bshalach and TU B'SHVAT. And the connection is made in at least two ways.

The first is that the Jewish people are promised that they will be brought into the Land of Israel and "planted" there - t'veamo v'titoaymo. A people are not granted rights of residence automatically in any land. These rights of residence are earned - the people must be "planted" in the country to truly belong there. And planting requires work, care, persistence, prayer and unceasing attention. The relationship therefore of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is precisely the same as that of the farmer to his orchard. The farmer has invested all of his talent and efforts into his orchard to make certain that the orchard will produce fruit and provide sustenance. The Jewish people must invest their efforts and talent into the Land of Israel in order to earn the right of permanent residence there. In fact, this has been the story of the Jewish return to the Land of Israel over the past century and half. The attempt to permanently "plant" ourselves in the Holy Land is a continual and never-ending one. It still requires our attention fifty-one years after the establishment of the state.

The second connection between TU B'SHVAT and Bshalach concerns itself with the staff of Moses that he carries with him up the mountain to supervise the battle that Joshua fights against Amalek. The symbolism of the staff will be found again in the Torah when the staff of Aharon blossoms to prove his right to the priesthood. There the wooden and apparently dead staff comes to life and sprouts blossoms and fruit. It is able to do so because it is in the proximity of the Ark of the Lord. Spirituality, Torah, holiness can convert what appears to be an inanimate staff into a living productive tree. Therefore the staff is the correct symbol with which to conduct the war against Amalek. For Amalek's power is physical, one of death and destruction and negativity. The power of Israel is one of song and holiness and transformation of the physical into the blessings of the spiritual. These lessons of TU B'SHVAT and Shabat Shira are valid today for us as perhaps never before. May we therefore be able to sing the song of Israel triumphant in our generations as well.

Shabat Shalom.

Rabbi Berel Wein


Text Copyright © 2000 Rabbi Berel Wein and Project Genesis, Inc.



 

ARTICLES ON TERUMAH:

View Complete List

Long-Term Payout
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

You Shall Have A Dream
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Sanctuary Sweet Sanctuary
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Prior Commitment
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

The Divine Expectation
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

The Only Thing You Can Take With You Is Your Dining Room Table
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

> Looking a Gift House In The Mouth
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Biblical Fund Raising
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Going Up?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

ArtScroll

Doing For Oneself
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

It's the Thought That Counts
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Honesty Comes First
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Famous Ark
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Bring G-d out of the "House of Worship"
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

The Other Half
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

The World in Miniature
Shlomo Katz - 5775



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information