“And Moshe made the
Jewish people travel from the sea of reeds, and they went out to the
desert of Shur” (15:22). Rashi:
“he made them travel against their will.”
Jewish people did not want to separate and part from the lofty G-dly
revelation they witnessed during the Splitting of the Sea. Thus Moshe
had to make them travel against their will. Why did Moshe make them
leave this great revelation?
the G-dly intent is that the Jewish people make a home for Hashem in
this physical world, Moshe made them move away from their lofty
spiritual level and brought them to the level of the “Desert of Shur”
— that is, so that they would recognize that the main purpose is in
this lowly world.
is why the next place they came to was Mara (meaning bitter), because
the existence of bitterness and evil is only found in this world.
The Splitting Of The Sea
the Splitting of the Sea it says (Tehillim) “He transformed the sea
into dry land, they will cross the river on foot.” The first part of
the verse is written in the past tense, whereas the second half is
written in the future tense. Why is this so?
place of the souls is in the World of Atzilus (the highest of the four
worlds), but their original source is the World of Kesser, which is even
more primordial than the World of Atzilus. In reference to this concept
the verse says that in the merit of Hashem having “transformed the sea
to dry land” in the past, with this strength, in the future, the souls
of the Jewish people that reside in Atzilus will be able to cross the
“river” (sefiras ha’bina, which divides the World of
Atzilus from the World of Kesser) and reach their original source, the
World of Kesser.
“And the Jewish people cried out to Hashem” (14:10).
Sages say (Bereishis Raba) that “the Avos are the Merkava
[Divine Chariot].” According to this, the Jewish people are like the
wheels (Ofanim, in Hebrew) of the Chariot, and the cries of the Jewish
people are like the song of the angels known as Ofanim, which is said b’raash
gadol (with a great tumult).
arousal of the aspect of the “wheels” of holiness caused the wheels
of Pharaoh’s chariot to fall off, as it says (14:25), “and He
removed the wheels of their chariots.” This is because “Hashem made
a world wherein one force is balanced against another,” and when the
“voice of Yaakov” is heard, the “hands of Eisav” do not prevail.
you, raise your stick” (14:16). Regarding
the future Redemption it says (Yeshaya 11), “and he will raise His
hand over the river ... and strike it into seven streams” without the
mention of a stick. Why is there this difference between the Exodus from
Egypt and the future Redemption?
Moshe did not need the stick in order to split the sea. It was only done
to arouse and draw down judgment and punishment upon the Egyptians, as
the Sages say (Shmos Rabba), “Hashem only subjugates the wicked with a
stick.” But in the Future, when all evil-doers will disappear, there
will be no need for a stick.
you be silent” (14:14). The
fourth group cried out to Hashem. Moshe said to them, “and you, be
silent.” This is surprising. Why did Moshe discourage them from
praying to Hashem?
intent was [as if to say]: The Splitting of the Sea comes from such an
elevated place that your prayers (“the arousal from Below”) do not
reach there. Thus there is no purpose in them.
custom of the Maharal of Prague on Shabbos Parshas B’Shalach, Shabbos
Shira, was that all the teachers and parents would bring their children
to the courtyard of the shul, where he asked the teachers to
relate the story of the Splitting of the Sea and how the birds chirped
and danced while Moshe and the Jewish people sang the Shiras HaYam, and
how the children plucked fruits from the trees that grew in the sea (see
Shmos Rabba) and gave them to the birds. Then the Maharal said to give
kasha to the children for them to give it to the chickens and birds as a
remembrance of the fruits which the children gave the birds at the sea.
Finally, the Maharal blessed all the children and wished the parents
that they merit to raise their children to Torah, chupa, and good deeds.
you be silent” (14:14). The
lesson we can derive from this is as follows: Sometimes we must close
the siddur, remove the tefillin, fold the tallis,
and leave the shul — [the concept of] “and you be silent.”
Why is all of this necessary? Because outside there are thousands of
Jews waiting for someone to come and split their personal “sea” for
them. That is, to split the covering which obscures and covers them, and
reveal the good hidden within their souls.