שובבי”ם ת”ת – לקראת
שבת פרשת בשלח ה’תשע”ד
פנינים מתוך ‘באר בשדה’
It is taught in this week’s Parsha,
and in the Medrashim on the Parsha, that even after Yetzias
Mitzraim, Bnei Yisrael were still not worthy of their redemption. There
were still accusations against them that “they are both idolaters (the Bnei Yisrael and Egyptians),
why for them should the sea split, and why should the others drown in the sea?”
Only in the merit of the forefathers, were they redeemed. They merited
having the merit of the forefathers, because of the faith they had in Hashem Erev Shivei Shel Pesach. They had
such great faith, that on that day they were ready to jump into the sea. Because
of that faith, they merited being saved. We learn from here, that when a person
goes through bitter times and hardships, the main thing is to devote yourself
fully to Hashem, put all your faith in Hashem, and to never despair. Then you create special
spiritual powers which can save you. Just like Bnei
Yisrael were saved, because of their faith in Hashem.
This week’s Parsha is full of stories
of miracles. The miracles of Krias Yam Suf, the sweetening of the bitter waters, the miracle
that they found twelve channels of water, the Man which was bread from
heaven, the water from the rock and the war with Amalek.
We have to learn from here how strong our faith must be. Even though it might seem
that things are going the opposite way from what we want them to, we still have
to believe that it is all from Hashem. Don’t give up,
we have to remain with hope that all will turn out for our best.
The Torah teaches us in the beginning of this week’s Parsha<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>,“וחמושים
עלו בני ישראל” “And the
Children of Israel were armed when they went up from Egypt. Rashi
explains, that it means that they were armed with armor. Another explanation Rashi offers, is that only one out of five Jews left
Egypt. Others explain that it was one out of 50, or one out of 500, or even
possibly one out of 5,000. The other four fifths died in Egypt during the three
days of darkness. Rashi explained earlier<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> that there
were among the Jews of that generation who were wicked individuals, who
did not want to leave Egypt, and they died during the three days of darkness.
How is it possible that so many Jews did not want to leave Egypt? They
were treated terribly; they were slaves, why would they want to remain there?
The Medresh<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> says that
there were many Jews who were very rich in Egypt and well respected
individuals. For this reason so many Jews did not want to leave Egypt. However it is still hard to understand. How
was it that so many Jews who were so rich and well respected, that they still
did not want to leave Egypt?
We can combine the two explanations of Rashi
on the word “וחמושים” as one. That only those that were well
armed with faith and belief in Hashem, and in the Tzaddikim (Moshe), were the ones that left Egypt.
Therefore it was such a small minority. There were many whose faith in Hashem wasn’t so strong, and their faith in the year before
was totally weakened. Although all of those people had an awakening and strong
moment of faith when Moshe first went to Pharoh, and
specifically when they saw the miracles and wonders that Hashem
did, however, unfortunately their faith got weaker and weaker when they saw
that Pharoh was remaining stubborn, and wasn’t
letting them leave Egypt. They then lost total faith in Hashem
and did not want to leave Egypt.
We see this nowadays as well. There are times when a person is going
through some hardships in life and seeks a salvation. They then go to a Tzaddik for a blessing, and the Tzaddik
tells them to do something in order to be blessed. Or a person prays to Hashem for a salvation, but their problems still remain. The
person starts giving up hope that their salvation will not come, and they stop
praying to Hashem, or they stop doing what the Tzaddik told them to do.
We can learn what to do in such a case, from the story of ‘The Lost
Princess’ that Rebbe Nachman
told over<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>:
The second to the king stood up, for he saw that the king was very
troubled, and asked that he provide him with a servant, a horse, and money for
the journey, in order to search for her. He searched for a very long time,
until he found her. He went from place to place, for a very long time, in
deserts, fields and forests. And he searched for her a very long time…
Afterward, he saw a castle, with several soldiers standing guard around
it the castle was very attractive and well built, and he the soldiers were
impressively aligned around it. He worried that the soldiers would not allow
him to enter. But he said to himself, “I will go and try.” So he left the horse
behind, and approached the castle. And the soldiers did not hind
him. He went from room to room without disturbance, and came to one reception
hall, in which the king sat, wearing his crown. And there were a number of
guards, and musicians with their instruments standing before him. It was all
very pleasant and beautiful, and neither the king nor any of the others
inquired about him at all.
And he saw that there were delicacies and fine foods, and he approached
and ate and went to lie down in a corner, to see what would transpire there. He
saw that the king ordered for the queen to be brought. They went to bring her,
and there was a great commotion and joy. The musicians played and sang a great
deal, being that they were bringing the queen. They placed a chair for her and
sat next to the king. And she was the above-mentioned princess and he (the
second to the king), saw and recognized her.
After that, the queen gazed about and saw a man lying in a corner, and
recognized him. She stood from her chair and went over to him, nudging him, and
asked him, “Do you recognize me?” He answered, “Yes, I do”. You’re the princess
who was lost.” And he asked her “How did come to be here?” She answered, “Because
my father blurted out the words ‘the no good one should take you’, and here, this
place, is no good.”
The second to the King was searching for many years for the lost
princess. He searched in deserts, fields and forests. Specifically at the time
when he was about to give up hope searching for the lost princess, he merited
finding her. However, at that time he already had lost his enthusiasm and
excitement, he still remained lying in the corner not moving or running over to
Why wasn’t he excited, he finally found the lost princess he was
looking for, for so many years? Where was his enthusiasm? This is coming to
teach us about the despair that falls upon a person just at the moment when
they are about to receive their redemption or salvation. This is what happened
to so many Jews in Egypt. They were so close to their redemption and salvation.
However they gave up hope and lost faith, they therefore did not merit or being
redeemed or merit receiving their salvation. This is what happens to many
individuals nowadays as well, just when they are about to receive their
personal redemption or salvation, they give up hope. They think that their
personal redemption or salvation will not come, so they stop praying to Hashem, or listening to the Tzaddik.
This is why they don’t receive their personal redemption or salvation.
teaches us<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>:
“And know: sometimes a person can be right by the door of holiness, yet
he turns back on account of being confused, or that he is close to the door,
the Forces of Evil overwhelm him greatly with extremely great and awesome
power, not allowing him to enter through the door, on account which he turns
back. This is the way of the Forces of Evil. When they see a person approaching
very close to the gates of holiness and about to enter, specifically then do
they overwhelm him with very great power.
And we have heard from a true Tzaddik,
who said that had he been told by someone, no matter whom, when he had been at
the beginning of his service of God, “Be strong my brother! Take hold of
yourself!” That he would have raced ahead enthusiastically in his service, for
even he endured all the above, but he never heard a single word of
encouragement from anyone. Therefore, anyone wanting to enter the service of
God must remember this well: Strengthen yourself greats and do what you have to
do in the service of God. Eventually you will enter securely with God’s help
into the gates of holiness, for God is full of compassion and desires your
This is what happened to so many Jews in Egypt. When Pharohs heart was hardened and he said, “I will not send
forth the Jewish nation out of Egypt”. The Jews started to think “True Moshe Rabeinu is a great man, but apparently Pharoh isn’t giving in to Moshe to let us go. And it is already
almost a year from when Moshe claimed that we will be brought out of Egypt and
it still did not happen.”
Therefore many Jews lost their faith in Hashem,
and wanted to stay in Egypt wealth and well respected. Those Jews died during
the three days of darkness. Only those that were well armed with faith in Hashem merited being redeemed. We must learn from here to
constantly believe in Hashem and to have Emunas Chachamim.
We know now that at the end of the day those that had faith in Hashem and listened to Moshe were redeemed from Egypt.
Nowadays also, the salvation or the personal redemption a person is waiting for
will come. We just must remain strong with our faith in Hashem,
and Emunas Chachamim.
“ויאמינו בד’ ומשה עבדו
– אז ישיר!”
“And they had faith in Hashem and in Moshe his servant – Then they sang”
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Translation ofפנינים מתוך ‘באר
בשדה’ פרשת בשלח תשע”ג .
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Shemos 13:18.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Shemos 10:22.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Shemos Rabbah 14:3. Medresh Tanchuma Vaeira 14.
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Sippurei Maasiois ‘The Lost Princess’
<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> Likutei Moharan part 2 #48.