Sometimes It’s Necessary To Jump


By Rabbi Yechezkel Spanglet

This week’s parsha describes one of the most enigmatic events of Jewish history. The Borei Olam had unleashed His nisim and niflaos on behalf of His People and liberated them from the most powerful nation at the time. B’nei Yisroel exits the impenetrable border of Mitzrayim with honor under the protective Hand of the Al-mighty.

Suddenly, Bnei Yisroel look over their shoulders and trepidation grips their hearts -The Mitzriyim are pursuing them. In front of them is the Yam Suf. On each side are the perilous elements of the wilderness.  There was nowhere to escape. THEY WERE TRAPPED!

Undoubtedly, when a Yid is in danger what does he do?  B’nei Yisroel lifted up their voices and tried to tear the heavens asunder with their tefillos. What does Hashem answer? He tells Moshe Rabeinu “This not a time for to cry out [in tefillah]. Speak to B’nei Yisroel that they should travel forward {into the Yam}!”Asks the Or HaChayim Hakodesh “And who else should you cry out to, especially in a time of tzaar?” (Shemos 14:15) Has this ever happened in Jewish history that the Am Yisroel has been in danger and was told by the Al-lmighty not to doven?  How do we explain this puzzling phenomenon?

The Orach HaChayim  brings down the medrash (Shemos Rabbah21:7)that אלו  עובדי עבודה זרה אף אלו עובדי ע”ז .  B’nei Yisroel with all of their great accomplishments had not eliminated their ta-avah for avodah zarah. Hashem wanted to save His people. This flaw had to be rectified in order for B’nei Yisroel to merit the ultimate yeshua. Therefore they were required to perform an act of mesiras nefesh to uproot this ע”ז from their hearts and show unconditional loyalty to Hashem. This act of entering into seeming point of no return required an immeasurable amount of emunah.  As a result, they were zocheh to the yeshua and the booty of mitzrayim.

The Nesivos Shalom(Pesach-Chelek Aleph) contrast the  differences  between Hashem’s hanhaga in Mitzrayim  verses by the yam. Yitziyas Mitzrayim was a promise made to Avraham at the bris bain habesarim. It follows that  zechus avos was  an important ingredient of Yetzyas Mitzrayim.  By the yam, there were no promises, there were no zechuyos   Therefore, Nesivos Shalom learns   that emunah is more powerful  than  tefillah, Kriyas Yam Suf  did not require  tefillot  nor zechuyos. The act of emunah was able to actualize the yeshua.  The Zohar Hakodesh calls this בעתיקא תליא מילתא ,  B’nei  had to reach beyond the hanhaga of teva  and through their own efforts to arouse the assistance from Above.

This was not an isolated incident that we learn in order to be awed by Hashem’s might and B’nei  Yisroel’s spiritual  strength of Am Yisroel..

Everyone goes through periods of the need to “jump into the Yam Suf” throughout their lives.  We all have worries, difficult periods challenges and sometimes, chas v’shalom, tragedies. Sometimes we feel stuck. These are the times we strengthen our emunah and draw from our inner strength to face the challenges, change and grow from them. For we know that our Father in Heaven brings these challenges and yesurim for our benefit. Rav Tzvi Meir Silverberg,shlita teaches that  Hahem sends us a package deal of nesyonot completely  tailored to allow us to reach our tachlis in life. If we feel stuck because of fears or deficiency in middos, we put all of our efforts and toil until we reach the other side of the sea and then we feel an excitement and exhilaration not otherwise possible.  Many marvelous people have built gigantic chesed and service oriented organizations because of the tragedies they experienced .

It is sometimes very difficult just like jumping into the yam suf. We are familiar with Rav Yisroel of Salant’s piercing statement, “Changing a middah is like going through Shas.” Through it all, we know that it is Hashem’s will and for a higher propose. For example, we learn from our paradigm Yosef Haztadik that he viewed his brother’s actions as Hashem’s will for him to save them and Mitzrayim. Our Merciful Father is always there to help us clear the obstacles and blaze new trails.

The Torah reaches us that instead of feeling hurt by and even taanot on parents, they brought us into the world and gave us the opportunity to live נצח נצחים. Ever though they have faults, we realize that it is important to note they may have difficulties in their upbringing beyond their control and it is important to focus on the countless chasadim and love that they feel for us.

It is important to keep in mind that Hashem loves and cares for us and engineers everything for our benefit. By holding onto emunah we connect with our Creator. We lead much healthier and happier lives. Through emunah, we can jump over any hurdle, scale any mountain and split any sea.

One can receive Rabbi Spanglet’s “ Growing in Emunah” essays at

One can also contact Rabbi Spanglet to set up an appointment for counseling at the same e-mail address.



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