Beshalach

Parshat  Beshalach    “The Natural in Supernatural”   

In this week’s Parsha, the biggest miracle that ever occurred or will ever occur, is mentioned, the splitting of the Red Sea. Two questions: Firstly, why is this considered to be the biggest or most awesome miracle that Hashem ever performed? What made it so unique? Secondly, during this whole episode, you will never find an instance where the verb “kera” to split, or tear is used. The Torah utilizes a couple of nouns and adjectives, when the water is turned to dry land such as “hovasha”  or “chorvah”, meaning drying up but the only verb used in the vernacular in reference to “split” is where the verse says in Ch14-21  the water split. So why then do we choose to this miracle with the verb split?

The Maharal comments that the splitting of the sea was Hashem’s “breaking” the natural order of things. Until that point, all of the miracles and wonders that even Hashem himself performed were done without breaking down natural order. Even the plagues themselves, though there was some indication they were super natural, still, they were finite and local only to Egypt.  Furthermore, it was only “אצבע אלקים “a small finger of Hashem’s capabilities that was exposed, but the laws of nature were still fixed. The actual splitting of the sea however, was a game changer… a natural and spiritual metamorphosis. In that event, the actual building blocks of creation- water and land, totally and unequivocally changed. In fact, when the Torah tells us   the sea split, ALL of the waters everywhere in the world, in every space, split as well.

Water is known as the example of something that does not have a fixed form. It is not a solid. “And Hashem turned the sea into dry land.” You can’t walk on water, because it’s a liquid with a very low surface tension. Water- which by nature always flows was turned into the same property as dry land, an entity that one could walk on.

When we are in mourning for a parent, we do קריעה, we tear our clothes, to symbolize a terrible loss, but were also symbolizing severe change…that things will never be as they were before. Therefore the word קריעה, to split, can also mean radical change

The Talmud compares two situations where Hashem has the same challenges, as he had when he split the sea. One is partnering up a man and a woman for marriage, and the other is in providing sustenance to man. Why are these two selected?

The Jews before accepting the Torah were beginning to demonstrate that they were no longer under the rule of nature, but rather under Hashem’s supernatural supervision. They were led by Moshe, who was himself drawn from the water supernaturally. We Jews understand, that the essence of Hashem is super-natural, and even things that seem natural and basic such as sustenance and marriage, are totally dependent on Hashem’s everyday blessings. May we all merit to see the hand of Hashem in everything we do, and just like our forefathers, when they saw the hand of Hashem as they were crossing the sea offered up a song in praise, may we offer our own personal song as well.
 

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