Saturday, February 7, 2009

Parshat Beshalach - Have a Little Trust

This past Shabbat was Parshat Beshalach. It happens to be one of my favorite parshiot of the Torah.

The parsha begins with the Jewish People leaving Egypt after 210 years of slavery. They're led by Moses, a former shepherd chosen by G-d to lead the Jewish People. We're doing well - we've left Egypt behind when we find that the Pharaoh has changed his mind. He didn't really mean to let the Jews go! Pharaoh sends his entire army after the Jewish People to bring them back.

Faced with an army behind them and the Red Sea in front of them, the Jewish People begin to cry to Moses to save them. Moses turns to G-d and starts praying. G-d tells Moses to lead the people into the sea.

This must have been a scary time for the Jewish People. They were just saved from Egypt and now they're being told to walk into the water? They didn't know that the water was going to split for them.

There is a famous midrash of a fellow named Nachshon ben Aminadav (Nachshon the son of Aminadav). He heard that G-d wanted the Jewish People to go into the water - so he went. He walked further and further into the water up till his nose! It was only then when the water split.

What do we learn from Nachshon? We learn to trust G-d. The water didn't split right away. I'm sure he was thinking while he was walking into the water - why isn't something happening? But he knew this was what G-d wanted, so he did it even though he didn't know what was going to happen.

It's not always easy to trust that everything is going to turn out for the good. But we try our best to know that G-d watches over us and wants what is best for us.

G-d is like our parents. Our parents want what is best for us. We don't always understand why they want us to do somethings. Why do I have to go to bed when I'm not not tired? Why do I have to eat food I don't always like? There are many questions like these that we don't understand. But our parents want what is best for us, and try and to take care of us so we grow up to be good people and good Jews doing the right things.

We don't always understand why things happen the way they happen, but we trust that our parents and G-d know what's best for us.

Have a good week!