As we conclude the beautiful Passover holiday it is important to remember that the culmination of the exodus was not just freedom, but most importantly the gift of the Torah.
We are now in the period of counting the Omer – the time between Passover and Shavuos, when we received the Torah on Mount Sinai. Historically this period of time, although short, teaches us numerous lessons.
First, a little history…
As the Jews left Egypt and crossed the Yom Suf, they experienced miracles that the world has never seen. Our commentaries tell us that there were many miracles, one within the other. If the sea splitting once wasn’t enough, how much more miraculous was it when the sea split twelve times. Each tribe had a tunnel of water surrounding them.
The walls of water protected them from the elements and kept them warm. They were beautiful like works of art, and despite being seawater, the walls provided sweet water to drink. The walls even provided the Children of Israel with food to eat in the form of fruit trees. Each facet of the miracle was a gift from our Father in Heaven to his weary children.
As any father, Hashem wanted to see his children show their appreciation for these great gifts and recognize their dependence on Him.
However, just three days into the journey they complained to Moshe that they had no water. Moshe rebuked them and told them to trust in Hashem, and prayed on their behalf. Hashem sent them water to drink.
Shortly thereafter they ran out of food, and the people complained again. Moshe reminded them that Hashem had a plan, and they were ashamed of their distrust. Hashem sent them the quail because they complained they had no meat, and then the manna. The manna, too, was one miracle that contained a multitude of miracles.
Just one week later they were again complaining to Moshe and Aaron about the lack of water. Once again they were rebuked, and were given the well of Miriam. And again the discord continued as they questioned if Hashem was present amongst them, and they were attacked by Amalek and then saved.
Ultimately, the Jewish people were given the greatest gift – the Torah – just weeks later.
Why does the Torah take the time to detail these miracles and describe these episodes? And how did they merIt to receive the Torah after they continued to make the same mistakes?
The Torah details these miracles to show Hashem’s love for the Jewish people. Hashem loves us despite our mistakes, despite our anger, despite our fear and lack of faith. Hashem loves us and provides us with miracles within miracles – He considers each and every detail right down to the decorations on the walls.
The episodes show us that Hashem is aware of our human frailty. Time and again we make mistakes and we repair them. Every year before Rosh Hashana we repent for things we’ve done, and the next year, and sometimes even the year after that. A person could feel hopeless! Or…
We can remember this story and remember that Hashem also provides us with the challenges that help us develop our faith, our commitment and enable us to grow and ultimately become worthy of his Torah.
Have a wonderful week and a successful journey!