Remembering The Sea

By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui

 

In addition to the commandment, we must remember everyday the Exodus from Egypt, there is another commandment, to remember every day the splitting of the Reed Sea.

The fact that everyone is commanded to remember these two historical occurrences tells us, that the lessons gleaned from these episodes must be eternal and relevant to all people at all times.

When the Israelites were being pursued by the Egyptians after the Exodus, as they stood before the Reed Sea, there were four camps of thought what to do next. One group said we must jump in the water and commit suicide, another group said we should turn back to Egypt and surrender once again as slaves, another group said we should fight the Egyptians, and another group said we should pray to G-d.

Moses, told them however, you must march forward. Nachshon, the son of Aminadav from the tribe of Judah, did exactly that. He proved himself to be a leader with courage and advanced forward into the water. Only when the water reached his nostrils, and G-d saw his self sacrifice and commitment did the water split for all the Israelites to pass through on dry land.

What possible lesson can all of us derive from this story?

In life, many times we may feel cornered. We have the waters of confusion and difficulties in front of us, and the Egyptians are pursuing us from behind. We feel we are between a rock and a hard place. At that time, there may be four different ways that a person may respond to these circumstances.

You may feel like you just want to jump into the water of spirituality, or something else to bury your head in the sand, as long as you can separate yourself from dealing with reality. Another approach may be, where you come to your own conclusion, based on your own logic, that perhaps the best thing is to stand up for your rights and fight the enemy head on. Another approach may be, where you submit to your responsibilities in a manner where you feel forced like a slave to your duties, and another approach may be, to pray to G-d and leave it in his hands. After all, everything G-d does is for the good, so why not just sit back and wait for everything to work out for the good.

Moses, who received the word from G-d, tells us, that for most of us and for most of the times, all of these four approaches are incorrect. Hiding from reality and dodging the issues is certainly not going to make things happen. Nothing good happens without effort. Doing things entirely only because they make sense to us without using guidance from G-ds word, leaves a person exposed to the limitations of human logic. Doing things and feeling forced, will never bring the best out of person. Only when we find enjoyment in what we do, can we flourish, and simply praying to G-d is not what G-d wants. We are told to make an effort through natural means in all that we pray for.

The correct thing to do when faced with pressures, the way that will bring the best for ourselves and the world, is to proceed forward confidently in the complete knowledge, faith, and trust that we are moving ahead in compliance with G-ds directives, and therefore, we are not alone. G-d is certainly with us, and we are granted the strength to forge forward regardless of the difficulties that appear before us. This commitment to keep on moving, will always eventually split the sea if that’s necessary to reach our G-dly goals.

 

To read more articles from Rabbi Ezagui visit him at http://koshercaffeine.blogspot.com

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