R' MATIS FRIEDMAN'S PARSHA SHEETS

B‘SHALACH

FREE AT LAST!

A nation enslaved for 210 years, now triumphantly march proudly out of the land of our oppressors as wealthy monarchs. Every Jew accumulated vast amounts of wealth from the Mitzrim, everyone except Moshe Rabbeinu. While all the people were gathering treasures, Moshe Rabbeinu was busy with the bones of Yosef Hatzaddik. Before Yosef Hatzaddik died, he made his brothers swear to him that they would make sure that their sons would take up his bones to Eretz Yisroel for burial. Moshe Rabbeinu gave up all that wealth in order to involve himself with this Mitzvah.
LESSON:
What a person is willing to give up for a particular Mitzvah, is what determines how valuable the Mitzvah is to that person. If you give up the opportunity to make 100 dollars in order to fulfill a mitzvah in its' stead, that is a 100 dollar Mitzvah. The truth is, when you think about it, the reward we will get for the smallest of Mitzvot in this world, is greater than any amount of money.
This reminds me of a STORY:
A chossid of the Kapitchnitzer Rebbe walked into the shul before Shabbos wearing a dirty old hat. The rebbe saw his chossid dressed this way and commented that it's not befitting him to be dressed in such a dirty hat. "But rebbe," said the chossid in embarrassment, "I don't have the money to buy a new one." The rebbe excused himself momentarily, and emerged holding a beautiful new hat and giving it to the chossid. The chossid said in shock, "I can't take this, this is the rebbe's new Shabbos hat." The rebbe insisted on the chossid taking it, but the chossid remained firm in his refusal. Finally, the rebbe said a convincing argument. "It is you who is doing me a favor. After all, how long does my hat last, a couple of years, whereas the reward I receive for the Mitzvah is eternal."

TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME

Hashem takes us out of Mitzraim the long way to avoid the nation of the Plishtim The reason was so we wouldn’t be afraid of war and decide to go back.

QUESTION: Wouldn’t we have trust in Hashem to help us after all the miracles He did for us in Mitzraim?

ANSWER: Perhaps so, but our sense of security would have been weakened. After the torture of our slavery, we needed to feel reassured that we were safe. Seeing war was enough to throw our sense of security off. Hashem gave us a cloud to lead the way by day. At night, He provided us with a fire which also illuminated the path. Hashem leads us back to the direction of Mitzraim to make Paroh think we were lost in the wilderness. His spies told him that the holiday in (not to be confused with “The Holiday Inn”) the wilderness for 3 days, already past and we weren't returning. Paroh once again desires to destroy us and convinces his people to go along with him.

DOESN’T THIS GUY LEARN HIS LESSON?

Pride overshadows logic. It was so important to Paroh to triumph over us, he was willing to destroy himself for the purpose of destroying us. This is illogical, but that is the power of pride and desire; it defies all logic. We find the same story with the evil “Hitler”(may his name be erased) and Sadaam Hussein. The lost their empires they created for their attempt to make the world realize their power. Hitler withdrew his troops from the war front to exterminate Jews Through this he lost it all. Paroh shows his nation how he was willing to participate in chasing after us, by harnessing his chariot himself. Paroh knew that this was the way to get others to follow in his (horse’s) tracks.
We learn from this wicked person a great LESSON:
We can influence others by being a proper example. People learn by example. For this reason, we surround ourselves with people who are good examples. This will have the greatest impact in our lives. Learning what Hashem wants from us is great; Learning from seeing a person put this into practice is even greater.

BLAZING SADDLES (WAIT)

We turned around and saw the Egyptian army chasing us. There were 600 horse- pulled chariots WAIT! I thought all the animals were killed during the plagues???? Those Mitzrim who feared Hashem knew to listen to Moshe Rabbeinu’s warning. They protected their animals from the “Maakot.” These were the one’s used to chase us. Now we had no alternative but death. The “YAM SUF” was ahead of us, and the Mitzrim were on our trail from behind. The wilderness surrounded us from both directions. The only direction that was safe was - up. We turned our hearts up towards Hashem in T’filloh.
Hashem put us in danger for us to learn a LESSON:
Only the Creator of heaven and earth can save us. Hashem hopes we’ll know where to turn for help. If we don’t realize that Hashem is our address for help, He might put us in a situation where no one or nothing else will come to our help. Moshe gives encouragement to us and davens to Hashem. Hashem commands Moshe Rabbeinu to stretch forth his hand to split the sea. The sea was still roaring in front of us. Suddenly from the tribe of Yehudah jumped “Naschshon Ben Aminadav.” When Sheivet Binyomin saw the courage of this tzaddik, they followed his example. Then, all B'nei Yisroel followed suit Nachshon.

WE DID OUR PART BEFORE HASHEM DID HIS PART

We started marching into the sea before the waters parted. The water was up to our necks. Had it not been for our trust in Hashem, we would have been in hot water. Let’s talk about the unbelievable miracles that Hashem performed for us at “Yam suf” The waters split into 12 rows for each Shevet to travel. The ‘walls’ of water were transparent, thereby enabling each Shevet to see its’ neighboring Shevet, assuring them of the safety of the rest of B’nei Yisroel. The walls provided sweet drinking water for those who wanted to drink. The water made a roof overhead for protection. The ground was dry for them to walk through easily. When the Mitzrim saw us walking through this sort of paradise, they eagerly marched through with vengeance in their hearts, ready to pounce upon us. There were also great miracles done against the Mitzrim. Let’s take a look; The cloud of Hashem darkened the Egyptian army. It also softened the ground, causing the horses and chariots to sink into the ground. The pillar of fire hardened the ground and the sunken wheels and hoofs detached from the chariots and horses. The waves came crashing down on the Mitzrim. The Mitzrim were carried with the waves to the top of the sea and came crashing down to its’ depth. They were kept alive while the ‘blender’ stirred them about. After they died, the water spit them out for all to see their punishment. WOW!

The wealth of the Egyptian army was spit onto the shore and into our hands. This great salvation inspired us to sing simultaneously. The clarity we experienced was so clear, it was even greater than that of our Nevi’im. The closeness we felt towards Hashem, kept us from traveling further. Finally, Hashem removed His ‘Shechina’ (Presence) from Yam Suf and we were able to travel.

Marah

Our first first stop was 'Marah' and it turned out to be a bitter-sweet one. We arrived there to find the waters bitter. This was a test from Hashem to see if we would complain. We did! Actually it was the ‘Airav Rav’ (No this was not a rabbi- it was a group of non-Jews who tagged along for the ride out of Mitzraim) who began the rebellion. Hashem wanted to show us that there is nothing beyond his capability. He commands Moshe Rabbeinu to take a bitter piece of wood and throw it into the bitter waters. You would guess that the waters became even more bitter, wrong! Hashem made them sweet.
This teaches us an important LESSON:
Never give up hope. Hashem can make the most bitter times, sweet. This event was crucial for us at the start of our nation. This taught us that Hashem controls nature. We mustn't think that the laws of nature run the world, rather Hashem is the cause of all that happens. The ability to make a bitter piece of wood sweeten bitter water is a display of the power of Hashem and how He controls nature. With this belief, we can be the nation of Hashem. We are ready to submit ourselves to Hashem. After this display of power by Hashem, We were given some laws to begin to keep and study. We were given the seven mitzvot commanded to all of mankind. We were also given the mitzvah of Parah adumah, Shabbos and kibud av v’em.

Eilim

...Next stop- Eilim. There were 12 springs of water, one for each Shevet. There were 70 palm trees, one for each of the z’keinim (elders). Why did each Shevet and need a different food source from the others?
This is to teach us an important LESSON:
Hashem deals with everyone differently. Each shevet has its’ characteristics and are treated accordingly. Hashem sees the need for diversity (being different) and provides for each individually.
STORY:
Rav Shlomo Freifeld (the late Rosh Yeshiva-Sho’r Yoshuv) was known for his understanding and appreciation for the individuality of each talmid. Three talmidim in his Yeshiva wanted to continue learning and teaching Torah and not pursue a college education. They had appointments one after the other. The first two came out with the answer they wanted, namely to remain in Yeshiva. The third was confident that he would get the ‘go ahead’ to remain in Yeshiva. He was shocked to hear from his Rebbe, “Out of the question, you must go to college...” This student is now the principal of one of the local Yeshivot.

OH MANN...

YOU MAY ASK, what did we live on for all the years? Hashem made the 'Mann' rain down from heaven. This was no ordinary food. It was from Hashem himself. There was nothing impure about this food. The body used the Mann in total, nothing going to waste (There was no need for bathrooms). The Mann came everyday, enough to feed the entire family for that day only.

Question- Why didn’t Hashem give a supply for the week, or the month?

Answer- Hashem wanted us to feel how much we rely on Him everyday. The miracle of the mann lasted for the 40 years B'nei Yisroel were in the midbar (wilderness). When we entered Eretz Yisroel, we saw what is was like for vegetation to grow. Could you imagine how the people felt when they saw a seed rot in the ground and become a tree capable of producing countless fruits, all containing many seeds to begin the process again? To that generation, they were used to having their food fall from heaven. this was "natural".

LESSON:
Appreciate all that Hashem does. Those seemingly "natural" events of life, are as much part of G-d's doing as great miracles. The difference between miracles and nature is just our becoming used to it. All of nature is miraculous. It's G-d's way of hiding himself to give us a chance to come seek him.

Hashem says to Moshe Rabbeinu, "pass in front of them and see if they will indeed stone you; Don't speak Lashon Haroh about my children!' Even though Moshe Rabbeinu was pointing out a fear he had that was a real possibility, nevertheless, on his great level he should not have thought this. Hashem tells him to take 70 of the zkeinim and go to a certain rock to hit it. Water will come out of the rock to provide for the nation. Moshe Rabbeinu does as Hashem has commanded. He hit the rock with his staff and water miraculously came out. How could B'nei Yisroel have asked if Hashem was with them? All along the way, Hashem provided for all their needs, of course He is with them! For this lack of recognition of Hashem, they were punished. If a person doesn't appreciate all that is given, only when it's taken away will they feel how much they benefited from it. We realize how important our-----is when we lose it. When our parents are unable to provide for us, we realize how much they have done. Similarly, since we didn't recognize how Hashem has provided for us in every way, He showed us what it would be like without His help.

Amaleik attacks!!

Now we will see what could happen if Hashem was somehow uninvolved in our lives. Moshe Rabbeinu places Yehoshua in charge of the battle while he was on the hill with Aharon his brother and Chur his nephew. Moshe Rabbeinu kept his hands outstretched towards Hashem and B'nei Yisroel would win the war. When he lowered them, Amaleik would start winning. WOW - WERE MOSHE's HANDS MAGICAL? No. When his hands were facing heaven, B'nei Yisroel saw them and realized who was in control of the world. Because they changed and brought themselves closer to Hashem, Hashem made them successful. They sure realized now that Hashem was always providing for them (and for the rest of the world), and can always be relied on.

Since Amaleik was the nation that dispelled the fear of the world towards B'nei Yisroel, they will have to be destroyed completely. Hashem should bring Moshiach soon and we will see the downfall of Amaleik and the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash.

© 1998 by R' Matis Friedman, H.A.F.T.R.
R' Matis Friedman's email address is shprophets@aol.com

R' Matis Friedman's main page
Back to Neveh Homepage



The webspace for the Neveh Zion site
has been generously donated by

Website hosting and design, 56K and ISDN dialup service,
family filtering and fixed IP addresses available,
reasonable rates. Email Sruli Shaffren for a quote.

Please daven for a Refuah Shelaymah for:



send your comments to webmaster@neveh.org