This Shabbos, we celebrate the seventh day of Pesach. It commemorates the miracle of our passing through the Red Sea. As such, this is the topic of the Torah reading.
After this miracle, the Torah says that Moshe had to urge us to leave the Red Sea. “Moshe led the Jews away from the Red Sea;” i.e., he caused us to travel away from the Red Sea. Rashi cites the words “Moshe led the Jews away” and explains that “he led them away against their will. The Egyptians had “crowned” their steeds with ornaments of gold, silver, and precious stones, and the Jews were finding them in the sea… Therefore, he had to lead them against their will.”
It seems quite clear from Rashi that had Moshe not led us away; we would not have left all that quickly. We wished to remain to get all of the gold, silver, and precious stones there.
Why was it so important for the Jews to plunder all of the wealth of Egypt? Hashem created the world because “He desired to have a dwelling place below.” In one’s home, he reveals his complete essence. Hashem wanted to show His being specifically below, i.e., in a physical world, a world where His presence is not apparent.
Egypt was a place of evil. Its Hebrew name is Mitzrayim, which connotes limitations, as contrasted to the unlimited G-d. The idea of “emptying Egypt” was to take away their wealth and give it to the Jews who were on the verge of receiving the Torah and building the Tabernacle. In this manner, we would use the wealth Egyptians used for immoral purposes to create a world in which the Almighty can be “at home.”
The lesson to be learned from this is clear. There comes a time that we become so involved in performing Hashem’s commandments’ that we will not stop for anything. We must learn from here that when the Shulchan Aruch or Moshe Rabbeinu (or his extension in every generation) tells us to change gears, we must listen. We must always occupy ourselves with that which He wants at any and every point in time. This is true even if it means going “against our will.” This is the way for us to reach the complete redemption.
I wish one and all a good Shabbos and a Kosher and Happy Pesach!
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 21, Page 77
DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE
מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש
IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
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
. Parshas Beshalach, Shemos 15:22.
. See the Midrash Tanchumah Parshas Naso Chapter 16. See also Tanya at the beginning of Chapter 36.
. See Tikkunei Zohar Chapter 469 (Pages 112, a and 114, a).