This week, our Parshat HaShevua — Parshat Beshalach is being sponsored anonymously Lilui Nishmas Hillel ben Menachem Feldman. To our anonymous sponsor, many thanks for your sponsorship, and your continued kindnesses.
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All of this talk over many years: “occupied territories”, “superpower(s)”, “two-state solutions”, “peace (or is that piece) talks”, — the synonyms go on and on. On the day after the Likud primaries, this author read this typically naive, or rather leftist agendized op-ed piece in The Jerusalem Post. Here are some quotes from this piece of work:
America supports the two-state solution, Bennett doesn’t. If Bennett wins, we could witness the relationship between the US and Israel turn even more sour. If the two-state solution is officially pronounced dead by Israel, Washington, which currently pulls all the strings, might get angry enough to put its foot down. Will the US stop merely “condemning” Israel’s actions and actually do something to change the status quo? I don’t know, but it will be harder to ignore with Israel under blatant far-right leadership.
Netanyahu’s government has been paying lip service to “two states for two people” almost as if to appease the Americans and the rest of the world only. Anyone who has half a brain and follows the conflict closely knows that too many people in power are opposed to this idea, and the actions on the ground go completely against the 2SS [“two-state solution (sic)” MB].
He might be the tipping point, the reason why the EU and others finally get involved, most likely by boycotting Israel just as we did with Russia.
One can’t really tell from the author’s name whether or not she is Jewish, but the brief bio published beneath the op-ed states:
The author is an independent travel and political blogger who has traveled extensively in Israel and visited the West Bank. Next year she hopes to volunteer and work as a journalist in the Middle East.
Another leftist wannabe heard from.
Not that Naftali Bennett would this author’s choice in upcoming elections, but if one clicks and reads the full op-ed, not only the above quotes, one notes the obvious: the total omission of any reference to Hashem, our Creator Who we, Am Yisrael, His Nation, ideally love, believe in, fear and serve.
This op-ed piece, and the multitudes of others — news reports, editorials, and other propaganda like it serve to further dumb-down the masses so that they accept and falsely, naively validate agendized myth, rather than the fact of our salvation by the Will of Hashem, i.e. our Divine legacy of Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael. But the salvation, the redemption of His Nation is precisely what our Parshat Beshalach is all about.
Rebbetzen Shira Smiles, in her sefer “Torah Tapestries” on Sefer Shemot (pages 57-58) cites Rav Chaim Friedlander (Sifsei Chaim, vol. 2, page 417) in discussing Hashem’s Oneness, Unity and Existence:
At Kri’as Yam Suf, the Jewish people understood the whole Divine plan…. They… saw clearly how enduring all of the years of slavery and suffering was a preparation for the ge’ula (redemption). B’nei Yisrael now fully appreciated the intricate Divine orchestration of events. Circumstances which had caused them pain were now understood as custom-designed pieces of Hashem’s puzzle. Pharaoh, for example, had repeatedly refused to release B’nei Yisrael, causing them much heartache and doubt. Later, this same stubbornness prompted Pharaoh to doggedly pursue the liberated Jews with his army, leading the Egyptians to meet their demise in the sea.
The Jewish people understood how… all the disparate elements of the physical world and time are all controlled by Hashem. They are manifestations of Hashem’s Unity, waiting to be revealed. The Jewish people appreciated masterful orchestration of the world and expressed it. Shirat HaYam is when they burst into song to articulate “ein od milvado” — nothing exists but Hashem.
Shem Mishmuel (Sefer Shem Mishmuel, Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, translated to English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski) renders translation of posukim and Rashi from Sefer Shemot:
“G’d went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them on the way and by night in a pillar of fire to provide them with light, so that they could travel by day and by night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night departed from before the people.” (Sefer Shemot, Perek 13, posukim 21-22)
“And I bore them on eagles’ wings, and I brought them to Me.” (Sefer Shemot, Perek 19, posuk 5)
“It was 120 mil [Shem Mishmuel footnote defining “mil”: An early measure of distance, approximately a mile] from Ramses to Sukkot [the first stage of their journey after their Exodus (liberation from Egypt)], and they came there within an hour, as the verse says, ‘And I bore them on eagles’ wings.'” (Rashi on Sefer Shemot, Perek 19, posuk 5)
Rabbi Mordechai Katz, in his Sefer L’lmod Ulamed on our parshat Beshalach (pages 75-76) summarizes events leading to the miraculous crossing of the Reed Sea:
The Israelites had reached Etham on the edge of the wilderness when they were commanded to turn back and camp by the Reed Sea. There, Pharaoh would pursue them, thinking they were trapped in the wilderness.
As soon as the Jewish people had left, Pharaoh regretted letting them go. He assembled his whole army, which consisted of many soldiers and chariots, and pursued the Israelites. The Egyptians were soon on the heels of the Israelites who panicked and complained bitterly to Moshe. “It would have been much better for us to serve in Egypt than to die in the wilderness,” they cried. However, Moshe assured them that Hashem would once again fight for them. The guiding pillar of cloud moved to their rear, creating a veil of darkness that hindered the Egyptian advance. Moshe, at Hashem’s bidding, stretched out his hand over the Reed Sea and a strong east wind blew and divided the water. This enabled the Israelites to cross the sea on dry land. The Egyptians followed them into the seabed but were thrown into confusion by Hashem. Their chariot wheels became stuck in the wet sand. Then Moshe stretched his hand over the sea again, and the waters began to flow over the Egyptian army drowning the Egyptians and their animals.
A song of triumph was sung by Moshe and the children of Israel in which they praised Hashem’s infinite power in destroying the enemy. He would guide Israel safely into Canaan whose inhabitants were terror-stricken upon hearing of the Egyptian destruction.
When the Jews panicked by the Reed Sea, Moshe spoke to them (Sefer Shemot, Perek 14, posukim 13-14) and Hashem spoke to Moshe (Sefer Shemot, Perek 14, posuk 18) :
“… Do not fear! Stand fast and see the salvation of Hashem that He will perform for you today; for that which you have seen Egypt today, you shall not see them ever again!”
“Hashem will do battle for you, and you shall remain silent.”
“Egypt will know that I am Hashem, when I am glorified through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
So one could ask: How is it that the Jews, about whom history has irrefutably proven, have withstood inquisitions, expulsions, pogroms, mass murders, holocausts at the hands of the nations, and yet has survived for all time, whereas nations, empires have risen and fallen before our eyes?
This author holds that those politicians and governmental leaders who promulgate, as well as those governed who meekly accept as fact — ein ma’alah soat — an agenda of subservience, of subordination to a so-called super-power or to international bodies, have left Hashem, Our King, the Creator of All out of the equation of human history.
This author hearkens back to an essential point from Parshat Shemot as cited from Rav Chayim Shmuelevitz by Rav Zelig Pliskin in his Sefer “Growth Through Torah”:
As long as they [the Jewish people] were considered important and worthy of respect by themselves [self-respect and self-esteem], the Egyptians were not able to treat them in an inferior manner. Only when they considered themselves in a lowly manner could they be subjugated by others.
Rav Chayim refers to this as how the evil inclination deals with people, i.e. that once a person feels inferior, feels a sense of guilt and worthlessness, “then he is easy prey for being trapped by the evil inclination….”
As He did vs the Egyptians, Hashem will do battle for His Nation, a Jewish people, united as one in actions and intent, and will prevail over agendization and a mindset of surrender and subservience.
May we, the B’nai Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brethren Jonathan Pollard and Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.