Friday, January 18, 2019

Dvar Torah - Beshalach - Rabbi Yitzchok Wolpin

Dear Friends

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Beshalach. The Shabbos in which beshalach is read is called Shabbos Shira (praise/song). The reason why this portion is so special, that we name it a name, although we don't find that with any other portion. Usually a portion is named after an individual or a word in the beginning of the portion. There are four special historic events, and gifts we received from Hashem, that are mentioned in this portion: Splitting of the sea, the Manna which came down from heaven daily, the holy Shabbos, and the war with Amolek. All and each of the above warrant a separate praise to Hashem. It is for this reason, says Reb Avrom Yaakov of Sadigura, that this Shabbos is called Shabbos Shira.

We recite the Shira daily, during shachris (morning prayers). The Beis Ahron writes that the shiras hayam includes everything one needs. One can find salvation for all problems, spiritual or material, if one recites Oz Yoshir (shiras hayam) with proper concentration.

Many commentaries ask, why is it that Jews did not say Shira only after they crossed the sea ? They had witnessed so many miracles until then, why didn’t they say shira on the ten plagues or on the exodus ? The holy Kabbalist Reb Chaim Vital answers, that the Jews had been subject earlier to such a cruel decree of throwing infants into the river, they could not say praise or sing until they saw revenge for that specific decree. Now the Egyptians were punished measure for measure, and drowned in water, they were finally able to say shira wholeheartedly.

In Likutei Ritzba gives a slightly different approach. Moshe wanted to recite the Shira with the entire nation, as it is written in mishlei 14/28 birov am hadras melech - the greater the crowd, the more glory for the king. Up until now, despite the great excitement and appreciation for all the great miracles, there was still fear of the agressor. Even a slave that manages to escape is not fully relaxed until he knows his master can never recapture him again. Now when they witnessed with their own eyes how the Egyptian oppressors were dead at the sea side, they were able to sing shira to Hashem all together with glory.

As it is the week we read about the tremendous miracles, may Hashem grant us all the salvation that Klal Yisroel needs and each individuals needs, whether it is Parnosoh or Shiduchim or strengthening the taste of Shabbos and/or erasing Amolek from within, and of course from outside, speedily.

Gut Shabbos

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