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Monday, Shevat 8, 5782 / January 10, 2022


This Shabbat we read from the Torah Parshat B’Shalach.


This Parsha tells the story of the splitting of the Sea and how the Jewish people crossed through it on dry land while the Egyptians, who were chasing after them, drowned.


The people still weren’t sure whether the Egyptians really drowned, or they may still come out, just as they themselves did, and go on to chase after them. G-d then performed a special miracle and the sea spit them all out and the Jewish people realized that they were all dead and did not fear them anymore.


After this great miracle, Moshe led the Jewish people in a special song, called the Shira. It’s a song praising G-d for his great miracles, after realizing that they were now trulyfree of their Egyptian masters. Because of the special reading of the Shira, this Shabbat is called, “Shabbat Shira” – “Shabbat of Song.” The congregation stands when the Shira is read from the Torah in a special tune.


In this Parsha, the Torah also relates how G-d provided the Jewish people each day with manna - bread from heaven. Jews went out and collected their portion of manna each day. However, on Friday G-d sent a double portion because on Shabbat the manna didn’t come down.


Although the Ten Commandments were given later, at Mount Sinai, we find the mitzvah of observing the Shabbat and resting on Shabbat in this Parsha. On Shabbat the manna didn’t come down. Instead they received on Friday a double portion – one for Friday and one for Shabbat.


Q.  Why didn’t G-d send enough for an entire week or month? Why did they have to collect each day?


A.  The Talmudic sage, Rabbi Shimon explained it to his students, who asked him this question, with the following parable:  A king had a son whom he loved dearly and provided him with all his needs.  At the start of the year, the king would give his son all that he would need for the entire year.  The first few years, the son would visit his father very often, but as time went on, the son began visiting his father less and less, until he ended up visiting only once a year in order to collect his yearly allowance. 


The king wasn't happy with his son's lack of visitation and he decided to  provide food for his son, one day at a time.  From that day on, the son appeared before his father each day!


"The same happened with the people of Israel," explained Rabbi Shimon. "By depending upon G-d for their sustenance each day, the Jewish people were compelled to look skywards, to connect and direct their hearts to their Father in Heaven on a daily basis!"


Lesson: The fact that G-d doesn't give us our needs all at once, may be a sign of His great love toward us. He wants to see us each day.  He wants us to pray each day for His help, thus presenting ourselves before Him and reinforcing our relationship with G-d every day.