Only G-d holds the reins of power

  • yonatan landau
Parshat Beshalach details the climax of our Exodus from Egypt. In it we experience the supernatural splitting of the sea where even the lowest Jew received higher visions than even the prophet Yechezkel.

The Jews are accompanied by at least 50 new miracles in the midst of the sea, while the Egyptians meet their bitter end for the years of oppression of our people.

On reading the parsha one craves to have been there, and each Pesach we aim to re-experience it.

On closer look, though, something seems puzzling. The Jewish people travelled in the desert for three days when the Egyptians decided to assemble their army and chase us. They caught up with us and shot arrows at us.

The Jews were frightened and while stuck between the Egyptian army and the sea, began to suggest different solutions. Only after this trauma were we saved.

Now, if Hashem wanted to shower upon us the multiple miracles of the sea, why couldn’t He have just spared us the torment and suspense? Why not instead kill the Egyptians before they came in sight of the Jews?

The Great Netziv, Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehudah, answers that Hashem had to make us face the full power of our enemies before saving us, in order to teach us that salvation is in Hashem’s hands.

It is the way of man to fully recognise his dependence on Hashem, only when his options run out, when his back is against the wall.

This imbues in us Emunah, rock-like trust in Hashem.

Today we are surrounded by people who claim to have answers to all our problems. Politicians, analysts, specialists, fashion moguls and journalists all sport their expertise backed by the clamour of advertising.

Yet we know that none of them can guarantee success and all too often we place all our hopes and aspirations in their frail hands.

Parshat Beshalach teaches us that there is only One who holds the reins of power. Only One Who is powerful enough to ensure the goal is reached.

When we are facing a problem, before we take action, let us look up to our Creator and say a prayer: Hashem, only You can do this.


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