BESHALLACH "And He sent"

Exodus 13:17-17:16

Judges 5:1 - 5:31

John 6:22-40


Short summary:

Soon after allowing the Children of Israel to depart from Egypt, Pharaoh chases after them to force their return, and the Israelites find themselves trapped between Pharaoh's armies and the sea. GOD tells Moses to raise his staff over the water; the sea splits to allow the Israelites to pass through, and then closes over the pursuing Egyptians. Moses and the Children of Israel sing a song of praise and gratitude to GOD.

In the desert, the people suffer thirst and hunger and repeatedly complain to Moses and Aaron. GOD miraculously sweetens the bitter waters of Marah, and later has Moses bring forth water from a rock by striking it with his staff; He causes manna to rain down from the heavens before dawn each morning, and quails to appear in the Israelite camp each evening.

The Children of Israel are instructed to gather a double portion of manna on Friday, as none will descend on Shabbat, the divinely decreed day of rest. Some disobey and go to gather manna on the seventh day, but find nothing. Aaron preserves a small quantity of manna in a jar, as a testimony for future generations.

In Rephidim, the people are attacked by the Amalekites, who are defeated by Moses' prayers and an army raised by Joshua.

As we introduce the Parasha we see the Children of Israel have many trials. As believers, people of GOD, we too have trials. Just as Israel began their journeys to the Promised Land (13:17-18:27), they had one trial after another. Some trials were caused by others, such as we see in the beginning of this Torah portion by Pharaoh and his soldiers. Other trials were caused all on their own. Yet, we see our GOD is always with us as He was with the people of Israel guiding them by day and by night. GOD comes between the pillar that brought light to Israel and darkness to the enemy (14:19-20). We too, can be assured that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will also stand between us and the world. The people in the world are walking in darkness, but GOD's people have the Light of life (John 8:12). The enemy cannot touch you without first encountering GOD.


We face problems throughout life, difficulties, trials, and temptations. Sometimes it seems that there is no way out, no solution, no way to conquer, triumph, or overcome. But our GOD will get us thru. GOD sees and answers even before we finish our requests, (Isaiah 65:24). Psalm 34:17states that GOD hears and delivers from all our troubles!

As Moshe told the people when their backs were up against the sea; don't be afraid. Stand firm and see the salvation He will provide for you today!

Shavua Tov


Rabbi Z.

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