Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Beshalach

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In this week’s Parshah, Beshalach, we read that that while leaving Egypt, the Red Sea was in front of the Jews, and the Egyptians closed in on them from behind. “Pharaoh was drawing close. The Children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, Egypt was traveling after them. The Jewish People were terrified, and they cried out to Hashem.[1]” Rashi cites the words from the verse, “and they cried out,” and explains that “they grabbed onto the trade of their ancestors,” meaning that they prayed.

Rashi continues by demonstrating that prayer was our forefathers’ trade. “Regarding Avrohom, it says[2] ‘to the place where he had stood (‘standing’ is a reference to prayer) before Hashem.’ Regarding Yitzchok, it says[3] ‘to speak (which refers to prayer) in the field.’ Regarding Yaakov, it says[4] ‘he beseeched Hashem.’ “

How can we call prayer a trade? Is prayer a vocation? Our forefathers did have a business; they were all shepherds.

Here Rashi is explaining why the Jews not only prayed to Hashem but cried out in prayer. Hashem already assured us that we would enter Israel; He would save us! Not just that, but the Torah tells us that[5] the Jewish people were “marching out (of Egypt) triumphantly.”

If they believed in Hashem’s assurance, what need was there to pray? If they did not believe, what would prayer accomplish? 

Rashi explains this by saying that the Jewish Nation grabbed on to their forefathers’ trade. The Patriarchs were in the business of praying. They did not wait for a difficult situation to pray. They were as one with the Almighty. They communicated with him regularly. The same is true of the Jewish Nation, their children. Despite their confidence in Hashem’s promise, they prayed.

We must all keep in mind that prayer is our business, our occupation. It is not limited to stressful situations in which we G-d’s help. Instead, it is what we, as Jews, do. We speak to G-d to connect with Him; we have the knowledge that He is here with us.

Just as our forefathers did, so too must we cry out to Hashem to be freed from our current Golus, thereby bringing “Moshiach Now!”

I wish you a wonderful Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 11, Page 52ff.

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס

Dedicated by Mr. Raziel שיחי’ Gates

[1]. Our Parshah, Shemos 14:10.

[2]. Parshas Vayeiro, Bereishis 19:27.

[3]. Parshas Chayei Soroh, Bereishis 24:63.

[4]. Parshas Vayeitzei, Bereishis 28:11.

[5]. Our Parshah, Shemos 14:6.

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