Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Beshalach

Seeing the Hand of God

The miracles performed by God through Moshe and Aharon, the apex of which is reached in this week’s parsha by the splitting of Yam Suf and the final deliverance of the Jewish people from the oppression of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. We are then further witness to the miracle of the manna falling six times a week to sustain the Jewish people in the Sinai desert and the ongoing miracle of water supplied to millions in that arid climate.

With all this, the Jewish people are trained and accustomed to a completely miraculous supernatural existence and way of life. They are, to a certain extent, lulled into believing that this is always the way things will be. Their passive role in all of these events is somehow the norm that will always be expected of them.

In the name of God, Moshe told them at the Yam Suf that God would fight their battle with Pharaoh and that they might remain quiet and passive in the ensuing struggle. It is this experience of constant visible and recognizable Divine intervention on their behalf, during the forty year span of residing in the desert of Sinai, that makes preparation for entry into the Land of Israel so difficult , as we will read later in the Torah.

A dependent society that is accustomed only to supernatural intervention will find it difficult to suddenly change and become self-reliant and independent. From this vantage point of practical living, the rabbis of the Talmud constantly reminded us not to rely solely on miracles.

Through the long and bitter centuries of Jewish exile amongst the Christian and Moslem nations of the world, the Jewish people somehow survived - barely so, but survive we did – in nothing short of a miraculous fashion. Powerless and defenseless, despised, hated and ridiculed, Jews nevertheless persevered, convinced that Divine intervention would somehow guarantee their continuance - individually and nationally.

Because of this enforced condition of passivity, Jews waited for supernatural deliverance from their plight. The hand of God, so to speak, acting almost invisibly and through seemingly natural forces and occurrences in the last century, changed these dynamics of Jewish life. Passivity now gave way to activity and great human effort and sacrifice.

God’s miracles were always present with us but much of the Jewish nation girded its loins to struggle on its own for independence, self-reliance and national realization. The fact that these efforts proved successful is itself nothing short of miraculous. Viewing the Jewish world at the beginning of the twentieth century, who could have imagined what that Jewish world would look like a scant one hundred years later.

There are those who refuse to see the hand of God, so to speak, in these remarkable events. And there are those who refuse to see that positive human effort and initiative were necessary to bring this wonder about. But the truth is that both factors were and are present in the events of Jewish life today and will continue to be so in our immediate future as well.

Shabat shalom.

Rabbi Berel Wein


Crash course in Jewish history

Rabbi Berel Wein- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com


 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Ramban: Why was Parshas Nedarim given over specifically to
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Crossover Holiness
Shlomo Katz - 5760

A Lesson About Our Psyche
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Collateral Damage
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

From Rock Bottom to Bottoms Up
Jon Erlbaum - 0

In Other Words
Shlomo Katz - 5764

ArtScroll

To My Very Last Breath
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

'I Didn't Take Your Spoons!'
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Recognizing the Honor and Kindness of Others
Rabbi Yona Zohn - 5761

> Setbacks and Comebacks
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Defining Good
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Wandering Jew
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Not Our Pets
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Unquestioned Answers
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Which is the Bigger Wonder?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

The Age Of Experience
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772



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