"As Pharaoh sent
the people.." (Ex.13:17)
There is no aspect of being which will not
serve a positive purpose. In certain cases, as in the example of Pharaoh, a transformation
is necessary. In their immediate state, they cannot serve a positive purpose,
and "their destruction is their purification;" i.e., only when they
are broken will their positive nature be revealed. Nevertheless, ultimately, this
transformation will take place, and the positive energies they contain will surface.
(Lubavitcher Rebbe, Sichos in English)
"G-d did not lead them the
way through the land of the Philistines, because it was near."
The Jewish people were led on a roundabout way to the Promised
Land to afford their future descendants the strength to overcome and succeed even
when the path is rocky and full of obstacles.
the Egyptians were marching after them... and the Children of Israel cried out
to G-d." (14:10)
If, G-d forbid, a person is suffering from an illness,
and he tries to escape his sickness by running to another place, what will he
accomplish? Certainly his aches and pains will travel with him wherever he goes!
His preferred course of action is rather to cry out to G-d and ask that He heal
him and make him well. So it was with the Jews. Even though they had finally left
Egypt, they had not yet rid themselves of the threat of the Egyptians. Therefore,
"the Children of Israel cried out to G-d."
(Baal Shem Tov)
drew closer (hikriv)...and the Children of Israel cried out." (14:10)
The Hebrew word hikriv is a transitive verb, implying that Pharaoh
caused others to draw near rather than himself. The Midrash relates that this
is because when Pharaoh pursued the fleeing Jews, it caused them to become closer
to G-d. In fact, the entire exile in Egypt and the splitting of the Red Sea was
only in preparation for the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai - the ultimate expression
of closeness and attachment.
(Sefer HaMaamarim Shin-Tav)
will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." (14:14)
only fight your battle on the condition that you "hold your peace"--remain quiet
and avoid controversy and disagreement amongst yourselves.
"And you shall hold your peace." (14:14)
command was directed against those Jews who wished to engage in prayer instead
of actually proceeding into the sea. We learn from this that there are times when
a Jew must close his prayer book, remove his tefilin, fold his talit and leave
the synagogue - in order to save the thousands of Jews who are in danger of drowning
in the sea of assimilation, "splitting the sea" and uncovering the light
of the Jewish soul that exists within.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe) (from L'Chaim
"The angel of G-d that went before the camp of Israel
moved and went behind them." (14:19)
When the Jewish people are worthy
of G-d's benevolence they attain a level higher than the angels. The angel that
until now had preceded them on their journey respectfully stood still and allowed
the Children of Israel to pass on ahead.
waters were a wall unto them." (14:22)
When a Jew observes Torah
and mitzvot faithfully to the extent that he is willing to jump into the sea,
not only does the "sea" disperse, but it is transformed into a protective
wall that safeguards him.
"And the water was
like a wall" (14:24)
This is to teach you that when one stays faithful
to G-d and His Torah and for His sake is willing to go even into the sea, not
only is the sea nullified as an obstacle, it even turns into a protective wall.
(from Likutei Sichot -translated from Sichat HaShavuah no.164)
they believed in G-d." (14:31)
The Hebrew word for faith, emuna,
has a dual meaning. Etymologically, it is related to the word meaning to train
or accustom oneself, and also to the word for power and strength. However, these
two meanings are interrelated. In the merit of emuna, i.e., by virtue of the strength
and certitude of the G-dly soul, a Jew is able to overcome the downward pull of
the animal soul and ascend from one spiritual level to the next, till he merits
the very highest revelations of G-dliness. Indeed, the Jewish people merited to
sing the "Song of the Sea" solely because of their emuna.
HaMaamarim 5680) (from L'Chaim 1057)
"The people believed in G-d,
and in Moses, His servant." (14:31)
"A person who believes in
the leader of the generation has faith in 'He Who Uttered and the world was brought
into being.' Every single Jew, regardless of his spiritual attainments, must cleave
to the Moses who exists in every generation, for through him he cleaves to G-d
"And Israel saw the great power which
the L-rd had shown on the Egyptians...and they believed in G-d." (Ex.
Even though the Jewish people had witnessed many wonders and miracles
firsthand they still needed to have faith in G-d. For faith is on a higher level
than sight; indeed, it enables a person to see more than the physical eye can
"This is my G-d and I shall glorify
Him, L-rd of my father and I shall exalt him" (15:4)
In tractate Sota
it informs us that it was the Jewish children at the Reed Sea that first recognized
the Divine and they exclaimed, "This is my G-d and I shall glorify Him."
This affected the parents, who responded, "L-rd of my father and I shall
exalt him." So it will also be at the future redemption, that the children
will be first, as is written (Malachi 3), the hearts of the parents will be returned
through the children.
from Likutei Sichot (translated from Sichat HaShavuah
"G-d showed him a tree...." (15:25)
source of bitterness and evil is the Tree of Knowledge, which brought about the
mixture of good and evil in the world. In order to sweeten the bitterness, G d
showed Moshe a tree, the Tree of Life, clean of all evil, so that through it he
would be able to sweeten the bitterness of the Tree of Knowledge.
Maimorim 5766 - translated from Sichat HaShavuah #319)
G-d has given you Shabbat." (16:29)
The joy and happiness that one
feels on Shabbat is in direct proportion to the effort expended in preparation
during the previous six days. For, indeed, it states in the Talmud, "He who
takes pains on Friday will eat on Shabbat." This is what is meant by "G-d
has given you Shabbat" - G-d has given you the ability to determine the amount
of holiness and pleasure you will feel on Shabbat.
(Likutei Torah) (from L'Chaim
"See, G-d has given you the Shabbat, that is why he gave you
food for two days on Friday...no one should go out." (16:29)
are things that are given from Above; they do not depend so much on our effort
as human beings. But the feeling of the holiness of Shabbat, that is something
that G-d gave into our control. The way a Jew prepares for the Shabbat and the
way he utilizes her, that is the way he will appreciate her. When we occupy ourselves
with learning Torah and serving G-d during the weekdays yet on Shabbat use our
time to elevate ourselves even more in our serving G-d, then we will feel the
holiness of Shabbat quite clearly.
(based on Likutei Totah - translated
from Sichat HaShavuah 59)
"Remain every man in his place,
let no man go out of his place" (16:29)
'Remain every man in his
place'-means that one has to see oneself smaller than he is. And if even so he
feels self important, at least 'let no man go out of his place'-he should know
his place; he should not see himself greater than he really is.
Yisrael of Rozhin) [translated from Sichat HaShavuah no.164]
children of Israel ate the manna for forty years." (16:35)
G-d provided the Jews with everything they needed, such as food and clothing,
it seems impossible for them to have fulfilled the mitzva of charity. The manna
in the dessert tasted like any food a person had in mind. A poor person had never
tasted expensive foods, so the charity of a rich person was to recommend to a
person which foods to have in mind.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe)
said to Joshua, choose for us men...and Moses and Aaron and Chur went up to the
top of the hill." (17:9)
Why was it necessary to assemble an entire
team consisting of Moses,Joshua, Aaron and Chur to fight Amalek? The Jewish people
had not been behaving properly, and this is why they were attacked by Amalek.
Indeed, the very name of the location where the attack occurred-- Refidim--is
related to the Hebrew word pirud, meaning disunity. At that time, the Jews
were fighting amongst themselves and also rebelling against G-d. The first letters
of the names Aaron, Chur, Joshua and Moses form the word achim--brothers.
Moses' call to the Jewish people was that if they would act as brothers and live
in harmony, united in the study of Torah and observance of mitzvot, Amalek would
never be able to penetrate the Jewish camp.
maintains war against Amalek from generation to generation." (17:16)
After the Jews left Egypt, they were on the highest level of faith in G-d. Amalek's
attack on the Jewish people was not merely intended to destroy them physically,
but to detach them from G-d spiritually, by putting doubts in their mind about
G-d. Whenever a Jew has doubts about Judaism, Amalek is at work. G-d is so angry
at Amalek that He wants to wipe out his remembrance entirely.
we stand at the threshold of the ultimate redemption, it is once again the woman
whose song is the most poignant, whose tambourine is the most hopeful, whose dance
is the most joyous. Today, as then, the redemption will be realized "in the
merit of righteous women." (Talmud, Sotah 11b) Today, as then, the woman's
yearning for Mashiach - a yearning which runs deeper than that of the man, and
inspires and uplifts it-forms the dominant strain in the melody of redemption.
(From meaningfullife.com, adapted from the Lubavitcher Rebbe)
tell us that the Jewish people will sing a total of ten songs of praise to G-d.
Nine songs have already been sung throughout Jewish history; the tenth song will
be sung when Mashiach comes. For each of the first nine songs, the Torah uses
the feminine form of the word "song" which is "shira."
The song of redemption is referred to in the masculine, "shir."
Why the difference? All previous redemptions were followed by exile once again
they were not permanent. This is like a woman who gives birth. After experiencing
the pain of birth, she finally is rewarded with a child. With her next pregnancy,
she once again labors and is again "rewarded" with a child. So too with
each redemption; the Jewish people suffer and then are redeemed. The final redemption,
however, will be permanent, never to be followed by another exile. At that time
we will sing the tenth song (shir), the song of redemption.
"Moses then sang
" (Ex. 15:1)
the splitting of the Reed Sea, Moses led the singing of a song of praise and gratitude
to G-d. But in describing that event, the Torah doesn't say, "Moses sang,"
(shar) but, literally, "Moses will sing" (yashir).
From here we can see reference in the Torah to the resurrection of the dead (techiyas
hameisim) which will take place in the time of redemption. At that time, "Moses
will sing," once again praises to G-d.
Furthermore, R. Eliezer says,
anyone who recites the Song of Moses now, before the redemption, will merit to
recite it in the future, in the Messianic Age.
(Adapted from Discover Moshiach
in the Weekly Torah Portion (by Rabbi Berel Bell and the students of Bais Chaya
Mushka Seminary of Montreal), as published on www.mashiach.org)
is my G-D
." [Ex. 15:2]
When the Jewish people went
through the parting of the Sea, they were able to perceive G-d's presence so clearly
that they were able to point with their finger and say, "This (zeh)
is my G-d." Even this, however, will not compare with our ability to experience
G-dliness in the Messianic Age, when there will be an incomparably higher revelation.
For G-d has told the Jewish people, "At the parting of the Sea you said,
`this' (zeh) only once, but in the Messianic Age you will say `this' (zeh)
twice, as we find in the prophecy Isaiah (25:9), "You will say on that day,
`Behold this (zeh) is my G-d. We have trusted Him and He has redeemed us;
this (zeh) is G-d who we have trusted, let us rejoice and be happy in His
(Adapted from Discover Moshiach in the Weekly Torah Portion
(by Rabbi Berel Bell and the students of Bais Chaya Mushka Seminary of Montreal),
as published on www.mashiach.org)
"Miriam... took a tambourine in
her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances..."
(Song at the Sea, Exodus 15:20)
How did the Israelites have tambourines in
the desert? But the righteous women of that generation were certain that G-d will
perform miracles for them, and they prepared tambourines and dances while still
"G-d will reign forever and ever."
In the era of Mashiach, rulership will belong to G-d forever.
said to Aharon: Take one jar and put a full meaure of manna into it; place it
before the L-rd for a safekeeping for your generations." (Ex. 16:33-see
also Rashi on the verse)
Mahn (manna) is the special food the Jewish
People ate in the wilderness, the miraculous bread from Heaven. It is the food
that G-d had prepared from the Six Days of Creation, and when the appointed time
came, He brought it down every day and provided the Jewish People with their needs.
A jar of manna was preserved by Moses as a remembrance for generations, and it
was hidden together with the anointing oil until the time of the Redemption, when
this jar will be among the things revealed by Elijah the Prophet.
Rebbe, translated by Michoel-Lieb Dobry of Tsfat]