Friday, April 27, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Why would Hashem punish the Egyptians by splitting the sea ? He has already shown them His mastery over water in the first makka when He turned their
Water is that with which Hashem gives life. For that reason Torah is compared to water. Dry land, on the other hand, is, well … dry. We can thusly compare the sea as being the receptacle for Hashem's midda of chessed while on land his midda of din or strict justice prevails.
When Pharaoh catches up to the fleeing Jews at Pi HaChiroth, he is convinced that now he will destroy them. How could Pharaoh be convinced of this ? Has he forgotten the past year, when ten plagues decimated his country and shattered his defenses ? Pharaoh remembered these things all too well. He was just erroneously convinced that this was the manifestation of Hashem's will on land. With the attribute of justice, Hashem dealt harshly with the Egyptians and trounced them in a nightmarish year. But, on the sea, with the attribute of loving kindness playing center stage, Pharaoh was sure that he could beat Hashem and His Jews, too.
Pharaoh was a fool.
And to emphasize that Hashem's plan is unfathomable by the human mind, Hashem saves the Jews by bringing them into the heart of the sea, and saves them by opening it and having dry land in middle! It is thusly not kindness (water) which saves the Jews, but rather justice (land). And the Egyptians aren't punished by justice, as we would expect, but rather by a flooding of kindness!
How does this shape our focus for the end of Pesach ? By offering Hashem our praise. When the Jews sang the shira at the edge of the
May we, at the conclusion of our Pesach, merit seeing this Divine dominion, unhampered and unconstrained by any regulations of the mundane. And let our praise of this incredible glory reflect this majestic fact.
Friday, April 06, 2012
One of the classic ploys of the Yetzer hora is impulsiveness, or the ability or inclination to perform an action quickly and without too much (or any) thought. It is both a tool to perform negative actions that we would usually avoid ("Oh, I can't believe I just said that …") and a deficiency in its own right.
Then why does it seem that Pesach is all about this same trait ?
Because it is.
What makes impulsivity bad is the absence of a rational thought process. While this is usually utilized for bad actions, there is no reason why we can't hijack this for good.
In the same way that an impulsively quick action can drop you (or your actions, or your speech, etc' …) to a pitifully low level in your avodas Hashem – the same kind of action can turn the tables!
Pesach is when Hashem did not examine our overall status in order to redeem us from bondage. It is a time when Hashem asked us to do the impossible (taking the sheep, god of the Egyptians in total and complete defiance) and without thinking too long about the possible ramifications … we did it ! We skipped the part of out decision making process that would have caused us to doubt fulfilling Hashem's command. G-d, in turn, skipped our houses and children when He swept through
This Pesach, skip something. At the seder, or in teffila, get into it! Skip the self consciousness, skip the doubts, and have an incredible, meaningful Pesach!