Stop, Drop, and Care – Parashat Beshalach

February 6, 2017 at 2:03 AM , , ,

“….And G-d said to Moshe, “Why do you cry out to Me? Speak to the B’nei Yisrael and have them journey forth….” – Shemot 14:15

וַיֹּאמֶר ה’ אֶל משֶׁה מַה תִּצְעַק אֵלָי דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִסָּעוּ – שמות יד, טו

The Jewish people were surrounded by peril in all directions, and their leader Moshe called out to G-d in prayer. G-d said to Moshe, “Why do you cry out to me? This is no time to pray at length, when Israel is in distress!” (see Rashi ad loc.). G-d then instructed Moshe to split the sea and that B’nei Yisrael should proceed through it  on dry land.

Why did G-d preface His plan of action with the words “Why do you cry out to me”? Would it not have been enough to simply instruct Moshe about what to do next?

This teaches us an important and powerful lesson.

Parashat Beshalach
One can only imagine how profound and special Moshe’s union with G-d was when he prayed. But the time had come for Moshe to lead the B’nei Yisrael (many of whom were idolaters at the time; see Shemos Rabbah 43:8) through the sea. The Torah therefore documents that G-d “lectured” Moshe about his lengthy prayer, to teach him that he must not allow any endeavor, material or spiritual, to distract him from the task of saving the Jewish people.

G-d was telling Moshe that one’s responsibilities to his fellow Jew must not be treated as an afterthought. When there is a Jew who must be saved from devastation, either physical or spiritual, you must put all your other endeavors on hold, no matter how important and special they may be, and give the task your undivided attention.

—Toras Menachem, vol. 25, pp. 42-45


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