Written by 8th graders Ella Goldstein, Margalit Lytton and Daliya Wallenstein
This week’s parsha is parshat Beshalach. In this parsha, many importants events occur such as, the splitting of the sea, the continuation of the exodus of Egypt, Maan, and more. The parsha starts with Bnei Yisrael camped by the Red Sea, when Pharaoh comes with his army. Moshe cries out to Hashem for help, and Hashem tells him to stretch out his arm and split the sea. In perek יד pasuk כא it says:
וַיֵּט משֶׁה אֶת־יָדוֹ עַל־הַיָּם וַיּוֹלֶךְ ה' | אֶת־הַ֠יָּם בְּרוּחַ קָדִים עַזָּה כָּל־הַלַּיְלָה
וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת־הַיָּם לֶחָֽרָבָה וַיִּבָּֽקְעוּ הַמָּֽיִם
“And Moshe stretched out his hand over the sea, and Hashem led the sea with the strong east wind all night, and He made the sea into dry land and the waters split.”
Right after the splitting of the sea, Bnei Yisrael had just witnessed the greatest miracle and had complete gratitude and faith in Hashem. But just after just three days of traveling in the desert, Bnei Yisrael had lost faith. They wanted to go back to Egypt, where they claimed they lived a much better life.
To renew Bnei Yisrael’s trust, Hashem provided them with Manna (bread). But only on the condition that they may only take one day’s portion (except for on Shabbat). In Perek ט”ו pasuk ט”ו it says:
זֶ֤ה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' לִקְטוּ מִמֶּנּוּ אִ֖ישׁ לְפִי אָכְלוֹ עמֶר לַגֻּלְגֹּלֶת מִסְפַּר נַפְשׁ֣תֵיכֶם אִישׁ לַֽאֲשֶׁר בְּאָֽהֳלוֹ תִּקָּֽחוּ:
“This is the thing that Hashem has commanded, Gather of it each one according to his eating capacity, an omer for each person, according to the number of persons, each one for those in his tent you shall take.”
This forced them to have faith that Hashem would be there to provide them with food every day. From this we can learn that we should have faith in Hashem and trust He will help us.
There is a midrash that before the splitting of the sea, everyone was davening and crying out to Hashem for help. Hashem told Bnei Yisrael to walk forward, even though there was a sea in front of them. All the tribes were hesitant and didn’t want to go in. However, the midrash tells us that Nachshon Ben Aminadav jumped in, the sea split and Bnei Yisrael was saved. This reminds us that we can’t rely on Hashem to do everything for us, but that we should take action and Hashem will meet us halfway.
Even though we don’t witness miracles as obvious as the splitting of the sea today, we have to remember that Hashem is still creating miracles today. It might be harder to notice them but it is important to have faith in Hashem and realize the small miracles in our daily lives. Although we know Hashem is looking out for us and guiding us, we need to recognize that for Hashem to help us, we have to help ourselves first and meet Hashem halfway.