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Thursday, Shevat 13, 5777 / February 9, 2017


Parshat B’shalach,relates some of the miracles the Jewish people witnessed after leaving Egypt.


First was the miracle of the splitting of the sea, through which the Jewish people were saved and the Egyptians drowned. After witnessing this great miracle, Moshe and people sang the Shira – a song of praise to G-d for this great miracle.


The Torah describes this miraculous episode as, "The Children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall on their right and their left… And the people feared the L-rd; and they believed in the L-rd and in Moshe His servant.  Then Moshe and the children of Israel sang this song to the L-rd..."


The Torah makes special mention of the women singing, dancing and playing their tambourines in praise of G-d. Because of the reading of the Shira, this Shabbat is called "Shabbat Shira."


The same Shira, which was sung by the Jewish people over 3,000 years ago, was incorporated into our daily morning prayer.


The miracle of the daily manna, which was sent from heaven, is also recorded in this Parsha.


Another miracle in the Parsha is when the people didn’t have any water to drink. They complained to Moshe; “Why did you bring us out from Egypt to kill us, our children and our cattle in the desert?


G-d told Moshe to take his staff and hit the rock and much water will come forth. Moshe did so and water came forth for everyone to drink.


At the end of the Parsha we read about the nation of Amalek, who came to wage war against the Jewish people. Moshe told Joshua to select brave and pious men to fight Amalek. Joshua did so and they weakened Amalek.  


Q.Why do we recite the Shira each morning?


A.To remind us thatevery day is a great miracle, no less that the miracle of the sea, and worthy of G-d's praises.  The daily miracles are “hidden” miracles. Although we may not see them, yet, they are all around us. If we open our eyes and minds we can even see them.


Q.   Where did the women get their tambourines after crossing the sea?


A.   According to our sages, the women were more confident than the men that G-d would perform great miracles and take them out of Egypt. While still in Egypt, they prepared tambourines to help them celebrate the miracle of the Exodus.