“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.” -John Quincy Adams
In Jewish mythology, there is one story and one personality that serve as the epitome of bravery. Though it is not in the text of the Bible, a famous Midrash states that Nachshon son of Aminadav, from those exiting Egypt, stood with Moses and the Children of Israel at the Reed Sea, with the Egyptian army fast approaching.
God tells Israel “go into the water.” The Midrash explains that Nachshon, filled with faith, was the first and only person to jump into the sea. The water reaches Nachshon’s neck and then miraculously parts, allowing the Children of Israel to cross the sea without getting wet.
Nachshon’s impetuousness is credited with getting the sea to split. Nachshon is mentioned in the biblical text later as the Prince of the Tribe of Judah and the first of the twelve princes to bring the consecration sacrifice for the brand-new Tabernacle.
The Ohr Hachayim (Numbers 7:12) explores what made Nachshon so great. He notes that from the list of princes, Nachshon is the only one without the title “Prince.” He explains that this attests to his humility as well as his greatness. Nachshon’s character was so great that he needed no title for it to be recognized. It was his combination of strong faith and great humility that engendered his extraordinary bravery and his leadership position.
May we learn from Nachshon. Sometimes you have to just jump in the water.
To all those jumping into the water of Israeli life. Some of the incredible accomplishments and highlights of Israel have been recently documented in a fantastic movie you must see at: http://www.stepupforisrael.com
Mazal Tov to Shaltiel Shmidman on his Bar-Mitzvah and his impressive cantillation of the entire book of Psalms from a scroll.