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Parashat Beshalach

There is a module I have discovered that is effective for change in any life area. I call it Triple A. Awareness. Acceptance. Action. First, we need to have awareness of the situation. The problem. The challenge. The options. The strengths and weakness. The powers that be. The ideal situation. Then, and only then, can we move on to step two. Acceptance. Accepting who I am, and accepting the other person or persons I am dealing with. Accepting the situation, accepting where G-d does not give us choice, accepting where He gives us choice. Accepting what G-d has given us or taken from us. Accepting the fact that we have not yet arrived at the ideal situation. And then, and only then, taking action. Something that will get us to the desired outcome. The best option for the present circumstance and people involved. You cannot skip stage two to get to stage three.

We have to learn to accept that not everything is picture-perfect. We have to learn to accept our kids the way they are, not how we think we want them to be. And we have to learn to accept the fact that sometimes in life, we don’t understand G-d, and that whatever He did, does or will do, is for our best. Somehow. Somewhere. Sometime.

And when we first believe, when we first accept, not only can we then act, but G-d actually changes His Universe for His Children’s sake. He lets us run the show, so to speak. לְסֻסָתִי֙ בְּרִכְבֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֔ה דִּמִּיתִ֖יךְ רַעְיָתִֽי  (Shir Hashirim 1;9) King Solomon, in his Song of Songs, the everlasting love-song between G-d and His People, mentions how G-d perceives His Beloved, The Jewish Nation. To My mare (female horse) in the horses of Pharaoh, I compare you, My beloved.

Why does G-d call his beloved a horse? How would a woman feel if her husband said to her, you are the most amazing thing in my life, honey! To me, you are like a horse! Not any horse, but Pharaoh’s horse! What is the meaning behind this?

R’ Chaim Volozhin,(NH 1,9) Noam Elimelech,(L Shoshana) and R Levi Y Berditchev all learn that there is something HUGE here in this passuk. The unique horse of Pharaoh is referring to the episode at the Sea. The sea split, and the Jews went right in, through dry land. Behind them, the water came crashing down on the Egyptians who ran after them. So, Pharaoh’s army of horseback riders tried with all their might to steer away from the sea. But G-d made it that the horses just went running straight into the sea, taking their riders with them. Usually, the rider guides the horse; but here, the horse guided its rider.

In His eternal love-song, G-d says to His Beloved People, I love you so much! For Me, you are like the horse of Pharaoh, in that sometimes I allow you, as it were – kivayachol – to guide Me, instead of Me guiding you. I am like the Rider of the horse, who sometimes lets the horse take control.

What, in the world, does this mean??!!!

As deep as that idea was, there is something even deeper here. The Jews have just gone through an 86 year holocaust of Egyptian slavery. Where was G-d all this time? Why are such bad things happening to good people? And why are good things happening to bad people? How does G-d let it all just go? Sometimes, the greatest praise to G-d is accepting Him without asking WHY. By remaining quiet. Accepting לְךָ֤ דֻֽמִיָּ֬ה תְהִלָּ֓ה. (Tehillim 65;2)To You G-d, silent acceptance is considered praise. Not asking why. Not complaining.  At the Sea, there was a tremendous revelation of G-d, and at that time, the Jews reached a level of tremendous emunah.. And in the merit of Emunah, G-d split the Sea. The word דימיתיך does not only mean that You, My beloved people, are similar, root being דמיון. It also means that you accepted with silence, from the root דום (S. Emet) And with that, with that level of Emunah, G-d allows us to control our fate, He makes things work our way, as if the horse now decides for the rider.

Sometimes in life, we need to accept. You are trying to run your business, but the phone is not ringing! You are trying to find your shidduch, or make your marriage happen, but there is “nobody home”. You are trying to stay healthy, lose weight, sleep well, but you find yourself gaining weight and sleeping less. In order for G-d to make miracles for you, He waits for you to accept His Will, to reach a certain level of serenity, knowing that He is Boss. You may not feel Him, because He is not “bossy”, but He is the BIG BOSS of all bosses.

This idea is so powerful!!! I recently used it in Mir, Jerusalem, when I gave a class. When I got to the room, I realized that it can be extremely useful to have the Sefer of R Chaim Volozhin, Nefesh HaChaim, handy, so that I can read word by word from it.  The classroom where I was supposed to give my lesson did not have sefarim. So, I said to myself, I accept that whatever is going to happen, whether or not I find the Sefer, I accept that G-d has my best interest in mind. There was a side room there; I walked in, and found no Sefer in the room, other than the Nefesh Hachaim!

The power of acceptance of G-d’s Will is the power that got us out of Egypt. Of believing in the dark times that things are beautiful, or can be beautiful, somehow. While the men sang the Shira of Az Yashir, the women followed Miriam, who had a drum in her hand, and sang their Shira as well. Where did the women have these bongos from? Rashi says מובטחות היו צדקניות שבדור שהקדוש ברוך הוא עושה להם נסים והוציאו תופים ממצרים The righteous women were SURE that G-d was going to perform miracles for them, so they took drums with them when they went out of Egypt. While they were in Egypt, they were making drums, in preparation for the time when G-d would make His Miracles. Because they believed, even in the darkest of times, that great things were going to happen.

About the author, Yosef

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