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Pesah Hol Hamoed/Shira

Pesah Hol Hamoed/Shira

We have just completed the first two Seder nights and we are now approaching the Shabbat of Hol Hamo’ed. During the Seder we praised Hashem as we sang "Dayenu", in which we express gratitude to Hashem for the many acts of kindness He has done for us, each one of which alone would suffice to make us eternally grateful. "If Hashem had brought us out of Egypt, but not meted out judgements against them(the Egyptians)-DAYENU-it would have been sufficient for us! If He had split the sea for us, but had not led us through it on dry land-DAYENU-it would have been sufficient for us! If He had led us through the sea on dry land, but not submerged our enemies in it-DAYENU-it would have been sufficient! If He had submerged our enemies in it, but not supplied our needs in the desert for forty years-DAYENU-it would have been sufficient! " And so on, up until the arrival at the Land of Israel and the building of the Bet Hamikdash. We can try and relate this to our own daily lives as well as the larger events in our lives. We must appreciate every single thing we do, each and every second of the day, from when we open our eyes in the morning to when we lie down to sleep. Each thing alone would suffice to merit endless gratitude to Hashem, but there is always so much more to be grateful for. In Rabbi Yitzhak Mirsky's Haggadah he remarks on the splitting of the Red Sea: How exactly did it split? Did it split all at once or in stages? The Torah states that "Hashem removed the wheel of the chariots.” How does this relate to the splitting of the Sea? In the Tosaphot for Masechet Arachin 15a, we read that B'nei Yisrael at first were not convinced that they were saved by this miracle. They were worried that just as they emerged on the other side of the sea safely, the Egyptians could have also emerged safely on the opposite side. The commentary asks, "Would it have been so bad if the Egyptians had come out on the other side? B'nei Yisrael would still have been safe because they would have been separated from the Egyptians by the entire breadth of the sea.” Tosafot concludes that the Israelites did not walk across the dry seabed of the Red Sea; rather, they entered on one side, traveled in a semi-circle and emerged safely further down the coast on the same side they entered. So the whole purpose of entering the sea was to lure the Egyptian army into the sea so they could be drowned there. Another miracle was that the Sea split in twelve sections to accommodate the twelve separate tribes, each taking their own lane. Since they were moving in a semi-circle, logic dictates that the inner lane would cover less ground than the outer lanes, therefore the Egyptians chasing them could have easily caught up with them. Hashem performed another miracle by making one of the Egyptian’s chariot wheels fall off, thereby impeding their riding ability. Thanks to this miracle, B'nei Yisrael were able to proceed normally, while the Egyptians were all detained until the last Israelite set foot ashore. At this point the waters returned and drowned the entire Egyptian army, whose chariots were stuck in the muddy seabed. The Baal HaTurim adds that if both wheels had been removed, the chariot could have still been pulled along partially by the horses, but with only one wheel removed, the chariot would tip over and become impossible to maneuver. According to Ibn Ezra, when the waters of the Sea began to close in on the Egyptians at one end, the waters simultaneously opened for B'nei Yisrael on the other side. In our evening prayers we say, "He gave passage to His children between the pieces of the Red Sea; He drowned their pursuers and their enemies in the depths of the sea." In the morning prayers, we say, "You split the Red Sea; You drowned the Evil ones; You gave passage to the beloved ones." The question is asked, "Why is the order reversed? Either the Egyptians perished first or B'nei Yisrael crossed first, but they both can't be true?" The Etz Yosef answers that the splitting of the Red Sea was a miracle within a miracle. In fact both events did happen simultaneously, for the Egyptians began to drown after some of the Israelites had crossed, but before the entire nation had crossed. So the lesson we learn through the singing of this lively song is that we were saved for just one simple reason, and that is to serve Hashem through the study of Torah. The praises also teach us to have a sincere Hakarat Hatov for all that Hashem does for us. There are many studies today which show that being appreciative and having gratitude increases a person’s happiness. Rabbi Diamond tells a story about a young man who lived through the Holocaust and was able to make it to the shores of America after the War. He had an uncle in New York who took him in and cared for him and nursed him back to health. Then his uncle gave him a job in his business as he learned the business and prospered. Later, he helped his nephew find a wife, he then paid for his wedding, and set him up in his own apartment. All along, his uncle continued to advance him in his business and increased his salary so that he could support his young family. Many years later, his uncle paid for his daughter’s wedding and during the wedding, the nephew whispered in his uncle’s ear, "By the way, uncle, thanks."Is that what you say to someone who saved your life and took care of you all these years? Someone who made you a proud person with a family and with an income when you started with absolutely nothing? Of course not! So we have to learn from this story that we must appreciate each and every daily thing that Hashem gives us and to praise Him exactly as we do in the song "Dayenu". May we all appreciate everything that Hashem does for us, from the time of our birth and throughout our lives, because nothing is ours and everything that we own are gifts from Hashem. May we truly live the words of the praises that we sing in the song "Dayenu" by living and learning the Torah that He gave us, each and every day of our lives! Amen! Shabbat Shalom and Hag Sameah! Jack E. Rahmey with the Guidance and Teachings of Rabbi Amram Sananes Leiluiy Nishmat.... Eliyahu Ben Rachel Avraham Ben Garaz Sarah Bat Chanah Malka Bat Garaz Shulamit Bat Helaina Yaakov Ben Rachel Batsheva Bat Sarah Esther Rabbi Shimon Chay Ben Yaasher Rav Haim Ben Rivka Meir Ben Latifa Yitzchak Ben Adele Esther Bat Sarah Chanah Bat Esther Rabbi Meyer Ben Chana Moshe Ben Garaz Rafael ben Miriam Moshe Ben Mazal