In the story of Beshallach, or “when he let go,” from Exodus 13:17-17:16, the children of Israel are finally free, but their troubles are far from over.
After fleeing Egypt, the Pharaoh in a furious rage gathered his army and set out to annihilate the Israelities.
The Israelites were doing great until they came to a dead end: the Sea of Reeds.
Now what were they supposed to do? All their excitement of being free had turned to terror.
The Egyptians, led by Pharoah, were fast approaching. The Israelites turned to Moses pleading with him to come up with an answer.
God was about to show his people how much he loves them and wants them to survive.
God instructed Moses to stand before the sea and raise his arms high and wide. The sea parted.
The children of Israel quickly moved past the walls of water, making a beeline for the other side.
They made it safely to the other side just as the roaring Egyptians arrived.
The Egyptians chased after the Hebrews and once they were in the middle of the parted sea, God caused the walls of water to collapse on top of them, causing all of them to drown.
The Hebrews were saved. They celebrated the great power of their God. The relationship between the children of Israel and their God was consecrated.
All the children of Israel joyously sang this song:
“Praise be the name of God.
Blessed be the name of God from now and forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting.
God’s name is praised. High above all nations is God,
Above the heavens is his glory.
Who is like the Lord our God?
Who is enthroned on high, yet looks upon heaven and earth?
Praised be the Lord, God of Israel. Blessed be his name forever and ever.”
Rabbi Marc Rubenstein serves at Congregation B’nai Chaim in Murrieta. For more information, visit www.bnaichaim.com.