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  KD MAGAZINE! 
יום שישי כ' בניסן תשס"ה - 29 באפריל, 2005
 
  1
  1Shvii Shel Pesach
Rabbi Shea Hecht 
About the author
 

The 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. 

1.The water split.

2.It formed a roof-like protection over their
   heads.

3.It was split into 12 individual
   passageways, one for each tribe.

4.The ground beneath the Jews was
   perfectly dry.

5.The ground was like clay beneath the
   Egyptians.

6.The water became hard as rock, harming
   the Egyptians who pursued the Jews.

7.The solidified water formed decorative
   mosaic walls.

8.These walls were transparent, allowing
   each tribe to see the others crossing,
   giving them a feeling of security.

9.The walls melted, yielding sweet drinking
   water to any Jew who stretched out their
   hand.                      

10.Once the Jew’s thirst was quenched, the
     water solidified again.

This Torah 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 it safely.”

      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.”

      The 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.

All of these miracles took place on the seventh day of Pesach, which should have  made it an even greater celebration than the first days of the Pesach. If so why don’t we make this our main day of celebration? The Talmud (Tractate Megillah 10) says that during the splitting of the Red Sea, the Angels were singing praise to G-d, because of the many miracles G-d did for the Jews. G-d asked them, “My creations are drowning in the sea, and you are singing praise?” We learn from this that G-d doesn’t want us to make our main celebration on the day that his creations are hurting.

        The seventh day of Pesach was the culmination of all the miracles in Egypt. According to the Baal Shem Tov, based on the Haftorah reading of the day, the eighth day of Pesach has the energy for the future redemption, in which G-d promised even greater miracles than those of the past. 

Let us use these days to reflect on G-d’s great love of the Jews and on the miracles of the past and of the future. Additionally, let us acknowledge G-d’s sensitivity to the destruction of our enemies, and recognize that if this the sensitivity G-d felt about the destruction of our enemies how much more sensitive we should be to the suffering of our friends.

 


 

 
     
 
 
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