This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my sister, Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein.
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmothers Channah Freidel Bas Sarah, and Shulamis Bas Etta
-MY BROTHER: MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO BEN CHAYA ROCHEL
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
-Noam Shmuel Ben Simcha
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-And all of the Cholei Yisrael, especially those suffering from COVID-19 and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken by terrorists (Hashem Yikom Damam), COVID-19, and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.
לע”נ שמואל מנחם בן אריה לייב
לע”נ לאה בת אברהם
לע”נ יהודה חסדא יקיר בן הרב שלמה
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Parsha Paradise/פרשה פרדס – Beshalach: “The Water Became Walls/Angry At Them” ?
Parshas Beshalach is most famous for the miracle of Krias Yam Suf. The Torah describes this miracle in great detail. However, if one looks and listens closely, one will notice a shift in language. When describing the way the B’nei Yisrael traversed the miraculously paved path in the Yam Suf on foot, the Torah first states that they entered “בְּת֥וֹךְ הַיָּ֖ם בַּיַּבָּשָׁ֑ה” (in midst of the sea, on dry land) and then walked “בַיַּבָּשָׁ֖ה בְּת֣וֹךְ הַיָּ֑ם ” (on dry land/in midst of the sea) [Shemos 14:22-29].
The first question is: Why state the same basic idea twice? The second question is whether or not there is a significant difference between “בְּת֥וֹךְ הַיָּ֖ם בַּיַּבָּשָׁ֑ה” and “בַיַּבָּשָׁ֖ה בְּת֣וֹךְ הַיָּ֑ם”? Does the order matter? Why change the order in middle?
Moreover, when describing how the water solidified into a wall, there is yet another seeming redundancy and, yet, another shift in language. The Torah states more than once that the water became a “Chomah” [חוֹמָה] or a wall on their right and left side. However, in the subsequent reference to this miracle, the Torah spells “Chomah” deficiently, i.e. without a letter Vav [חֹמָה]). Does that deficiency matter?
As far as this later question goes, Netziv comments that “Chomah” without the Vav implies that the water was no longer serving as a protective wall against the Egyptians, as they were already dead. However, at this point, the Torah was communicating that the water merely remained stable like a wall so that it would not pour back out to its natural course.
However, Netziv also quotes a Drashah to explain the shift in spelling.
Netziv, the Vilna Ga’on, and Ba’al HaTurim all point out that the deficient spelling of “Chomah” can be read as “Cheimah” [חֵמָה] meaning “wrath,” suggesting that there was some force of anger directed at the B’nei Yisrael.
The Vilna Ga’on suggests two related reasons. The first was that Hashem’s attribute of strict justice reasonably questioned why one party should drown (i.e. Egyptians) while the other should survive (i.e. Israel) if “Hallalu Ovdei Avodah Zarah V’Hallalu Ovdei Avodah Zarah”-“These served foreign gods and these served foreign gods” [Shemos Rabbah 21:7, Yalkut Beshalach 241].
The Vilna Ga’on explains further that this would also explain the shift from “בְּת֥וֹךְ הַיָּ֖ם בַּיַּבָּשָׁ֑ה” to “בַיַּבָּשָׁ֖ה בְּת֣וֹךְ הַיָּ֑ם.” The former was in reference to those who were faithful and went into the sea first before it became dry land. Those who still had any allegiance to idolatry had less faith in Hashem and only entered the sea when they saw the dry land first.
The Vilna Ga’on and Ba’al HaTurim suggest alternatively but similarly that the wrath flared because of Pesel Michah, the image of Michah, an idol that would be worshipped later in history [Shemos Rabbah 24:1, 41:1]. Ba’al HaTurim and the Midrash cite a phrase from Pasuk in Zechariah [10:11] with an additional Remez to this event; “וְעָבַ֨ר בַּיָּ֜ם צָרָ֗ה”
“And misfortune will pass through the sea”
Explains Ba’al HaTurim, the Sofei Tovos or the abbreviation of the final letter of each word spells the word “Ramah” [רָמָה] which shares the same Gematria (numerical value) of Pesel Michah [פּסל מיכה].
As to how the sea could have expressed anger at Pesel Michah if it didn’t exist yet, the Vilna Ga’on explains that the inclination and intention for that eventual act of Avodah Zarah was already there in the hearts of the tribe of Dan (who would perpetrate the sin).
The Vilna Ga’on explains that this too would explain the shift from “בְּת֥וֹךְ הַיָּ֖ם בַּיַּבָּשָׁ֑ה” to “בַיַּבָּשָׁ֖ה בְּת֣וֹךְ הַיָּ֑ם.” The tribe of Yehudah faithfully jumped into the sea before it became dry land. The tribe of Dan went in last only after they saw the dry land.
Zohar [3:108B] discusses the concept of “Batei Arei Chomah,” houses in a walled city (a topic at the end of Sefer Vayikra). Al Pi Sod, he explains that these houses refer to houses of Torah and the walls serve to protect that which house the Torah. This idea, explains the Zohar, is what the Torah refers to when it describes the sea in our Pasuk which stood up like walls.
What is the connection? To answer this question, all we need to do is simply ask ourselves for what purpose did the water stand up and form walls that day? And if, for some reason, the same water would become “angry,” what would have caused that anger? Think about it and there’s your answer.
The water stood up to protect the people who would eventually host Hashem’s Torah. That was their Zechus. But, those who have and would eventually serve Avodah Zarah, a clear about-face to Hashem’s Torah, were worthy of divine wrath.
We should aspire and be Zocheh to be among the first party, those who house Hashem’s Torah in our hearts, who believe in Hashem alone and take that leap of faith, and He should intervene for us with another redemption, the final Geulah, Bimheirah BiYomeinu! Have a wonderful Shabbos!
-Yehoshua Shmuel Eisenberg