Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Parshas Beshalach

וַיּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-משֶׁה, מַה-תִּצְעַק אֵלָי; דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְיִסָּעוּ

"Ad-noy said to Moshe, "Why do you cry to Me? Speak to the B'nei Yisrael and let them move on." (Sefer Shemos, 14:15)

G-d questions as to why the Jewish people are praying. He tells them that now is not the time for prayer; now is the time for action. However, was it really so far-fetched that the Jews were praying to G-d in such a time of need? I mean, the sea was in front of them, and the Egyptians were approaching from behind. I think it would only be natural that the Jewish people would want to call out to their G-d for their help. But, G-d says no; now is not the time.

The Or haChaim haKadosh asks this fundamental question, and has a very beautiful answer. He says that yes, it’s true that Jews should call out to Hashem in time of need. That being said, Hashem is only able to help us out if we have merited to receive such help. Hashem, who we know is a true G-d, wants to avoid prosecution from the Satan. If Hashem were to just blindly help everyone that asked him for anything, the Satan would come and argue that a) the person isn’t deserving of such help and b)Hashem is not a true G-d. Therefore, through our actions, we must earn enough brownie points in order for our prayers to work. This is what G-d is telling Moshe when he says “Ma Tizak Alai?”; he is saying that the Jewish people, as they are now, have no merit to render Hashem’s help. He is therefore suggesting that the Jewish people go out and do actions that will give them enough merit for their prayers to be answered. Basically, if we want G-d to do his part, we have to do our part.

I find it interesting that the most irreligious, even atheist, come running to G-d when a loved one is sick. This is so even though they probably haven’t done the first thing to merit their prayers to be answered. Prayer is the building that must be supported by a foundation of zechuyos/merits. Without the foundation, our prayers that we want to reach the heavens, will more than likely come crashing to the ground.

Again, if we want G-d to do his part, we have to do ours. This, says the Kedushas Levi (in the name of the Besht) is p’shat with the verse that tells us that, “G-d is your shade. (Tehillim 121:5)” What does it mean that he is shade for us? Answers the KL; shade follows us wherever we go. We can’t expect our shade to go one way unless we are moving that way as well. If he want G-d to “move his hand” and help us out, we must move in the same direction.

The Kedushas Levi goes on to explain that which it says “Vayaaminu Bashem uv’Moshe Avdo/they believed in Hashem and Moses his Servent.” This verse which was said over at the splitting of the Red Sea; how could the Jews have NOT believed in Hashem and Moses? The KL goes on to explain that this wasn’t said after the splitting, this was said beforehand. This wasn’t their reaction to the splitting of the sea; rather, it was a prerequisite for the split. Emunah/faith and zechuyos aren’t something that we can promise to develop after G-d helps us out, but rather, they have to be in place beforehand, in order for our prayers to be heeded.


Anonymous cpa said...

Nice explanation. Even though we should be worthy and do an action it is fine to daven at the same time. Doesn't have to be action alone.

2:07 PM, January 31, 2007

Blogger AlanLaz said...

Sorry if I implied that. Tefilah is a must as well, it just can't be without merit.

2:29 PM, January 31, 2007

Anonymous cpa said...

You didn't imply it that was just what was in the explanation so I was just adding this thought.

8:56 AM, February 02, 2007


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