Torah Portion: Beshelach
January 19, 2019 | 13/Shevat/5779
The Rabbis were sensitive to this and instituted a blessing that we say every time we use the bathroom: “Blessed are You, the Eternal, Who heals all flesh and does wondrous acts.” What this blessing is stating is that the Almighty created what no human can: a pump that can work for 120 years without a break, a filter that never needs replacing, and a computer that orchestrates billions of cells in our body and rarely crashes.
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by Rabbi Max Weiman
What do I do?
From a practical, physical standpoint, this week’s Torah portion begins with something that’s hard to understand. The Almighty takes the Jewish people out from hundreds of years of slavery, leads them a few days into the wilderness, and then has the Egyptians come to take them back.
It doesn’t seem to make sense: If they just left, why is God putting them in jeopardy again?!
Spiritual vs. Physical
Sometimes the spiritual viewpoint is the opposite of the physical viewpoint. One mistaken assumption about life is that things should always be pleasant and comfortable. When they are not pleasant and comfortable, we say there’s a problem: Why is God doing this to me? Why me?
The truth is that if God wanted our lives to be pleasant and comfortable, He wouldn’t have put us into this world. If you lie in bed you are comfortable, but if you do it too long your muscles begin to atrophy. Effort and struggle will increase your muscle strength.
The message is that life is not meant to be easy. Life is meant to be for growth. In order to grow, we need struggles. We need a challenge.
The nation of Israel needed that particular challenge at that particular time. It was designed and crafted for their spiritual growth.
What Do I Do?
The Israelites were in a predicament. On one side was the Sea of Reeds; on the other was the well-equipped Egyptian army. What should they do? Some said fight. Some said pray. Some said jump into the sea. Some said surrender.
Wouldn’t you think the “biblical” answer is to pray? Yet God says to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Speak to the Children of Israel and tell them to journey forth.” (Exodus 14:15)
It seems that each group, everyone was suggesting the thing most comfortable with their personality or general pattern of behavior. Someone who is always ready to fight thinks that’s the way to resolve things. Someone who always prays thinks that’s the way to resolve things. As my friend Rabbi Mordechai Rottman likes to say, “When you’re a hammer, you think everything’s a nail.”
In order to know exactly what God wants from you, you have to ask the question honestly. You have to be multi-talented, at various times ready to fight, negotiate, or flee.
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As she was walking, suddenly she came upon a sight that looked strange to her. She went over to take a closer look.
a patient and unselfish outlook on life.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
JOKE OF THE WEEK
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