Torah reading on the seventh day of Pesach tells us about the
culmination of our exodus from Egypt. Until that time the
Egyptians were vigorously pursuing the Jews with the intention
of either bringing them back to Egypt or killing them. Egypt was
the superpower of the time and they had the ability to
accomplish their goal, if not for G-d’s great miracle of the
splitting of the Red Sea - Kriyas Yam Suf.
The Midrash tells us that the
miracle of the splitting of the sea included ten separate
miracles to make the crossing more comfortable for the Jews.
formed a roof-like protection over their
was split into 12 individual
passageways, one for each tribe.
ground beneath the Jews was
ground was like clay beneath the
water became hard as rock, harming
the Egyptians who pursued the Jews.
solidified water formed decorative
walls were transparent, allowing
each tribe to see the others crossing,
giving them a feeling of security.
walls melted, yielding sweet drinking
water to any Jew who stretched out their
the Jew’s thirst was quenched, the
water solidified again.
reading reminds me of a cute story. A youngster came home from
Hebrew School very excited. He ran around his house shouting,
“Boruch Hashem, Boruch Hashem, Thank G-d, Thank G-d.”
His father asked
him, “Why are you shouting? What are you so excited about?”
The boy answered,
“My teacher told me of the great miracle that G-d did for the
Jews exiting Egypt. He split the Red Sea so the Jews could cross
His father told
him, “Son, I’m sorry to tell you this, but what your teacher
told you is incorrect. The sea that the Jews crossed was not the
Red Sea. It was the Reed Sea - a small little body of water.
There was no great miracle in the crossing.”
son was crestfallen for a while,
but was soon dancing around the house shouting again, “Boruch
Hashem, Boruch Hashem, Thank G-d, Thank G-d.”
His father asked
him, “Why are you running around the house shouting so
happily? I just told you it was no great miracle that the Jews
crossed the Reed Sea.”
The son answered,
“Yes, but I just remembered the end of the story. My teacher
said that the Egyptians all drowned in the water that the Jews
crossed. If the water was low enough for the Jews to cross over
without a problem, imagine what a great miracle it was that all
the Egyptians drowned in that same shallow water!”
In the Haggadah,
though there is some argument about how many miracles took place
when G-d split the sea and the Jews crossed it, the one fact
that is indisputable is that the Jews were in danger of
annihilation from the Egyptians before the crossing of the Red
Sea and the danger passed once the sea was crossed.