Pesach 7th Day – Redemption at the Sea
“And Moses said unto the people: Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the L-RD, which He will work for you to-day; for whereas ye have seen the Egyptians to-day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” – Exodus 14:13, JPS 1917 Tanach
As the Egyptian army approached, Torah records that B’nei Yisrael, encamped near the Sea of Reeds, cried out to H’Shem in great fear (14:10). The people were divided in their response: 1). Some cried out to H’Shem in prayer, akin to the later writing of the psalmist, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will make mention of the name of the L-RD our G-d” (Psalm 20:8, JPS).
2). Another group of the people, having great trepidation about their circumstances, took the exact opposite approach, expressing their regret for having left Egypt, and complaining to Moshe (see Exodus 14:10-12).
When Moshe responded to the consternation of B’nei Yisrael, in light of their present circumstances, despite the imminent danger, he said to them, “Fear ye not, stand still and see.” Or HaChayim comments, that the words “stand still” convey the essence of prayer, a reliance on H’Shem, and a turning towards Him in the midst of nisyanos (trials). The picture derived is B’nei Yisrael’s trust in H’Shem, in hope of His salvation at a time of great need.
That night, an angel of H’Shem protected the people from the Egyptians, a cloud darkened the Egyptian camp, while a pillar of light shined upon the B’nei Yisrael. Moshe stretched his hand over the sea; and, H’Shem caused the sea to part by way of a strong east wind. The Children of Israel passed through the sea to safety on the other side. Our own expectations of H’Shem for deliverance in our lives, regardless of our circumstances, when made through the prayer of sincerity, may bring results greater than our expectations.
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