B Shalach 2006

In this week’s Parsha, B’Shalach, we read about the great miracle of the splitting of the sea. Seven days after the exodus from Egypt, Pharaoh and his mighty army surrounded the Jewish people with their backs to the sea. Moses told the Jewish people that Hashem will do battle for them and they should remain silent. Subsequently, they were instructed to enter the sea. When they did that, the sea proceeded to split allowing the Jews safe passage to the other side. The Egyptians chased after them and the water returned to its original place drowning the entire Egyptian army. This great miracle is called in Hebrew, “krias yam suf”.

The question is raised, why was it necessary for this miracle at all? In the beginning of the parsha, we are told very clearly that the Jewish people left Egypt fully armed. Later when they did battle with Amalek, they used their weapons. Why then weren’t they told to do battle with their weapons at this point in time?

Commentaries explain that Hashem wanted the Jewish people to learn a very important lesson. If they would have just gone to war and won, they may have mistakenly thought that their own strength is what guided them to success. Hashem showed them in the very first conflict that He is the One who really guides and controls what happens to us. While we make our own efforts in all avenues of life, success or failure is truly decided only by Him!