Parshat Beshalach: Bringing us back to the Creator

“The Lord fights for you, while [lit. and] you remain silent [lit. still].” (Exodus 14:14)

Since the covenant between God and Abraham, that originates the birth of the Jewish people, the Creator has waged all of Israel’s wars. Usually when someone defends us, we let him do so while we are finally delivered from our oppression, distress or affliction. In the case of the children of Israel’s fear of the Egyptian soldiers riding after them, they were stressed enough up to even interfere in God’s intervention to save them.

This verse seems to suggest that their interference could have spoiled their deliverance. Hence we can learn that when our Creator fights our wars, only He does it and not us, particularly if we are clearly unable to fight for ourselves as it was in the case of the Exodus from Egypt.

This required stillness demands a great deal of trust in God, which is the foundation of any kind of covenant, agreement, contract or commitment. In practical terms, we must trust goodness as the deliverer, liberator, rescuer, savior and redeemer of all our afflictions. We trust others based on the premise or assumption that they will do goodness to us in our relationship with them. More so with our Creator from whom we depend on as we do from the next breath to the other.

As we live in, by, with and for goodness, it will also defends us from anything different from its ways and attributes, as long as we let goodness do its work.

We have reflected often in the reasons the Creator had to deal with Pharaoh, his army and his people. We know that He could have delivered the children of Israel in one single moment, or ordered the final outcome in a different way.

By its narrative, the Torah points out to us that every happening written in it is intended to teach us the instruction God wants us to acquire. Thus we know that the ten plagues, God’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart, and the affliction suffered by the children of Israel are lessons to be understood by them in particular, and by humankind in general.

“And the Egyptians have known that I am the Lord; in Me being honored over Pharaoh, over his chariots, and over his horsemen.” (14:18)

The lessons of the Exodus were presented mostly for Pharaoh, and what he represents. We have repeated that our Sages equate him to the egocentric and egotistic approach to life, as the result of a misconceived and misled understanding of the role of ego in human consciousness.

We must mention again that ego is the vital driving force that enables consciousness to act according to the biological and emotional needs usually called instincts, which are symbolized by Pharaoh’s chariots and horsemen.

In this context we understand that the whole process of the Jewish deliverance from Egypt was to teach us that goodness, as the material manifestation of God’s will in His creation, is destined to prevail and rule over all aspects, levels and expressions of human consciousness. This Divine principle must be assimilated first by ego as the driving force of human life, and then by the remaining ways and expressions of consciousness.

This lesson was also intended for the children of Israel and humankind, for God’s will is what matters in His creation. Life, as a learning process is designed to recognize and adopt goodness as the cause and intended effect in all aspects and expressions of what life came to experience in the material world.

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Zefat.
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