This week's Torah portion is Beshalach and includes that fateful moment of the splitting of the Sea of Reeds and Israel's redemption from the Egyptians, as well as the subsequent rave on the other side led by none other than Miriam and the ladies (did you remember you glow sticks?). I could say a lot about the portion, but I'll merely share the following. It's food for thought, delicious, nutritious, sustaining thought.
On Ex. 14:14: "The Lord will battle for you; you hold your peace," the notes in the Etz Chayim Tanakh offer a poignant interpretation of this line saying, "G-d will support and defend you -- but only when you stop quarreling among yourselves. A united people merits G-d's intervention." It's that second line that strikes me, particularly. It takes a people united to gain intervention of G-d, obviously. Is the intervention an allusion to Moshiach? But is this only the peace of the Israelites that grants intervention? G-d intervenes, saving the Israelites, but the rest of the world (assumingly) is not at peace. Is this a selective thing?
Most importantly, does it imply that perhaps when there is peace within the Jewish community that intervention will arrive? Perhaps G-d isn't just sitting idly by, perhaps he's waiting? "A united people merits G-d's intervention."
Indeed. (This was adapted from a blog post, B'Shelach: The Parting of the Sea of Reeds.)
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