A Chizuk for the Faithful

In these uncertain times, when the going has really gotten tough, especially for those in the front lines of Am Yisrael (Eretz Yisrael, and particularly the "settlements" of Yesha, etc), and for all Jews in general - we must remember that only from above will our help come. HaShem Hu Ha'Elokim! The L-rd is G-D!

Even though it seems He he has hidden his face from us, we should know that He is still watching over us and that He will mete out justice soon, and comfort His Nation with the Geulah Shelemah at the same time. It is as a tribute to those valiant Jews who have recieved the many blows of our enemies (be they from arab terrorists or hellenist soldiers and police) and perhaps feel that hope is so far off that I have decided to share this Devar Torah. Please G-D it will serve as a great Chizuk for the true Soldiers and Servants of HaShem: His faithful, who are unflinching in their loyalty to Him.

In last week's Parasha (Beshalach), we find something very strange. When first describing the Jews' crossing of the Yam Suf, it says in the Passuk (14:22): "Vayavo'u Bnei Yisrael Betoch HaYam bayabasha; vehamayim lahem chomah miminam umismolam." "And the Children of Israel came within the sea on dry land; and the water was a wall for them, on their right and on their left."

However, only a few Passukim later (14:29), it says: "u'Vnei Yisrael halchu bayabasha betoch hayam; vehamayim lahem chomah miminam umismolam." - "And the Children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea; the water was a wall for them, on their right and on their left."

How strange! The Torah - which our Sages teach us never wastes words or says anything superfluous - repeats the exact same thing twice! However there are two subtle differences which make things all the more puzzling, but yet at the same time serve to reveal the unique meanings of each passuk. In the first of the quotes (14:22), the passuk puts things in the following order: "And the Children of Israel came within the sea on dry land..." whereas in 14:29, the Passuk says "And the Children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea..." In addition to this subtle difference, whereas in the first example (14:22) the word "Chomah" - "Wall" is spelled with a "vav", in 14:29, it is spelled without a vav. What is the meaning of all of this?

The answer is given by the Kli Yakar, who quotes the Yalkut:

For those of you who know the story of the Bnei Yisrael's trial at the Yam Suf, you will know that things were not so simple as they first look. HaShem did not immediately split the sea just like that. First, Bnei Yisrael were in a state of panick: they were trapped! Paroah and his army behind them, the sea in front - surely they were doomed! And they cried out to HaShem to save them from this seemingly hopeless situation.

HaShem, for His part, promised Moshe that He would split the sea - if the Bnei Yisrael just showed that they trusted in Him. Yet noone had the courage to act. Surely it was madness to just walk into the raging sea, with no sign of hope! Noone, that is, besides for Nachshon Ben Aminadav from the tribe of Yehuda. We are taught that when he entered the sea (along with some others who, we are taught, followed his lead), he waded in deeper and deeper, unflinching in his trust in G-D, until the water actually began to reach past his neck and into his mouth. When HaShem saw his unstinting loyalty and trust in Him, and his will to walk firmly in the Path in which G-D directed him to do no matter how crazy it seemed, He caused a miracle the likes of which had not been seen since the Days of Creation! The sea split, the People of Israel went through and the Egyptians were drowned! Truly a miracle unlike any other!

Now let us refer back to the Passuk. The first quote (14:22), writes "chomah" with a "vav". This means "wall." Simple, plain pshat. However, in the second instance the passuk writes "chomah" without a vav. This spelling has the exact same letters as in the word "cheimah" - meaning "judgement". So now we can understand what this comes to teach us.

For those who FIRST went "...within the sea..." (that is: BEFORE it had split - without any garaunties other than the Word of the Almighty) and only then "...onto dry land..." (because it then split) - such as Nachshon and those who followed his lead - the sea was unwavering in its protection of them. But for the weak of faith, who first waited for it to be "dry land" (and thus subscribed to the faithless doctrine of "seeing is believing") and only then entered into "...the midst of the sea...," (that is, only AFTER it had split and they were assured of safety) when THEY walked in between the walls, Divine JUDGEMENT was upon them! The Satan accused them of being unfaithful, for they did not truly believe that in the Words of HaShem: that He would act on their behalf if they would only show their ultimate hishtadlut. It was only in the merit of the first group of faithful ones that the whole of Klal Yisrael merited to pass through the sea and the water did not drown them as it did the Egyptians!

We see from here a message that must stay with us always. Even if things seem insurmountable - even if the whole world is against us, and even many of our own brothers and sisters think we are crazy - we need only do what HaShem instructs us, and we will be untouchable. He Who Created all logic and nature and "reality" can surely turn them on their head to redeem the deserving ones of His People. We need only show our willingness to fulfil His Will and show mesirut nefesh in fulfilling His Word and He will do the rest.

Chazal teach us that "ma'aseh avot siman la'banim" - "the deeds of the fathers is a sign to the children." We are able to learn what the final redemption will be like simply by looking at te first - and it will be the same now as it was then. Those who will be redeemed will only survive by hanging on to the coat-tails of the righteous who knew the Truth all along. And that very group of loyal Jews who follow G-D's Word even into the kivshan ha'aish or the raging waters will be eternally rewarded - for it will be in THEIR merit - and noone else's - that we will be redeemed and not destroyed with the rest of this evil, corrupt world.

So the message is this: things may be tough now, and we may not see any obvious light at the end of the tunnel, but Chazal compare the Geulah to a deer. It darts behind the mountains and trees, but suddenly it appears in all its beauty! And the same will be here - it is a Promise from the Ultimate Source of Truth! All we need to do is hang tight and follow the Eternal Word of our Master and Creator. The cogs of history are turning and it is reaching the final stage of creation - but in these hard times the only ones who are GARUANTIED safety are the ones who seek shelter ONLY in the Wings of the Shechinah and who act only for the sake of HaShem!

May HaShem have mercy on us and bring the redemption now in the merit of all those who have sacrificed and who to this very day still sacrifice for the Sake of His Eternaly Holy Name!

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