Parshas Bshalach:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il

Parshas Bshalach

Pasuk (14:22)

" Vayavohu Bnei Yisroel Besoch Hayam Bayabasha, Vehamayim Lahem Chomah..."

We see later on in the Parsha (14:29), that the Bnei Yisroel "Halchu Bayabasha Besoch Hayam".

Why does this second Pasuk change the order of 'water ' and 'land' ?

Also, why does the second Pasuk write Choma Chaser, without a "Vav", unlike the first Pasuk?

Finally, why does the Torah use two different Lashon's, at first the Torah writes that the Bnei Yisroel "Vayavohu" (came), while in the second Pasuk, it says "Halchu"(went) ?

Comes the Gra"h (Sefer Kol Eliyahu) and explains that the Bnei Yisroel were composed of two groups.

One group made up of Tzadikim, they believed in Hashem and had full Bitachon in Hashem. They were the ones leading the Bnei Yisroel, and they were the first ones to enter the water, till the water reached their nostrils. At that point the water split.

At first the water didn't want to split when Nachshon Ben Aminadav jumped into the water. The water didn't want to change its nature for it asked 'why should I split for the Jews and not for the Egyptians. They both served Avodah Zarah !!'

Hashem than answered that since they had the Emunah and Bitachon, and they changed their nature and went into the water, even though it was against human nature, in that merit the water gave in and split.

Therefore it says Besoch Hayam... they went into the water at first. Only then did it turn to land. And the water was like a solid wall around them.

Yet after they entered, the rest of the Bnei Yisroel entered.

For them it was already land within water since the waters had already split.

The last group that entered was that of the tribe of Dan. Micha, from the tribe of Dan had an idol with him. As they were leaving, the Egyptians were entering the water. Here the water already had a good claim, why are these better than these!!

Therefore the Pasuk tells us that the first part of the Bnei Yisroel were on land, yet the last of the Bnei Yisroel were still in the water, on them the water was "Chemah", without a 'Vav', the water was angry at them.

Comes the Shira Chadasha and explains that the first Pasuk uses the term "coming", because coming, comes to show that in the first Pasuk, the Bnei Yisroel came to the water, they came from one place (land) to the other (water).

Yet in the second Pasuk, it comes to tell us that those that entered the sea didn't change their way of walking, they just "went", they continued walking from land to land.

They didn't feel any change, unlike the first group that entered. Therefore it mentions walking, went, and not coming.

On the above Pesukim, the Noam Elimelech brings down that at first the Bnei Yisroel felt the miracle of walking in the water, as if they were walking on dry land.

This raised them to a spiritual high, that they reached a level, that even when they would walk on land, it was a miracle, just like walking on water.

They realized that everything is a miracle, and there is no natural way in the world.

As the Ramban says, from the open miracles, one begins to see that everything really is a miracle, even what one may call nature.

The Chasan Sofer gives a parable to this.

There once was a king who requested from a great artist to draw a real-life picture of the his horse.

The king then placed the picture in the middle of the town, to show it to the towns people. Yet no one looked at it, everyone ignored it.

The king asked a noble man, why don't the people take an interest in the picture ?

He answered the king, that the picture is to real, and real horses everyone sees in the market. Therefore they don't realize the greatness of the picture. He advised him to take the picture and cut it in half, in order for the towns people to see that it is a picture and not a real horse.

The king did so, and people started commenting how nice a drawing. How it looked so real.

This story is the story of our lives. Hashem created the whole world, water, land, sun, moon, stars, and all the rest of the world. Yet man doesn't take time in the day to think of the greatness of Hashem's creations.

Hashem needed to split the Yam Suf, only then were all able to see that when Hashem want's water, there is water. And when Hashem wants land, there is land.

We can also learn a very important lesson from Nachshon Ben Aminadav's behavior. We can't expect miracles to happen unless we are willing to act with Mesiras Nefesh. If we exhibit super human quality's, such as good Midos, learning Torah day and night, Hashem will reciprocate to us by performing super natural occurrences, for our sake.

We must sacrifice our lives to Hashem, we must live a Torah life. Our lives should be built around the Torah, and not the opposite. When we decide to set a certain time for learning Torah, we should not let any business activity take away from this time. By showing these special quality's, B"H, Hashem will reciprocate to us with his Hashgacha Pratis, in the right time and the right moments.

(Adapted from Sefer Shay Leh Torah, & Talelei Oros, & Rav Michel Barenbaum)



This weeks Parsha tells us that the Bnei Yisroel gathered an extra portion on Maan for Shabbos, Lechem Mishneh.

A few laws on the topic of Lechem Mishneh:

It is preferred to use two loafs of bread, or Matzah (Ashkenazim) for Lechem Mishneh.

One may use a frozen Challah as the second Challah for Lechem Mishneh. The reason is because the Challah will be ready to eat within a certain amount of time, without any special preparations. (There are those that disagree with this opinion and say that the Challah should be ready to use, during the Beracha.

There are also those that say that one needs to slice both Challot used for the Lechem Mishneh, thus it should not be frozen.)

If one only has one whole Challah, and he is lacking Lechem Mishneh, he may take a whole cake, and join it with the Challah for Lechem Mishneh.

If one only has one whole Challah and sliced Challah, he may join them together for Lechem Mishneh.

If Chalos got stuck together during the baking process, the Poskim discuss to permit their use for Lechem Mishneh

There is a difference between Kiddush and Hamotzi. We know by Kidush, one who hears the Berochos is Yotzay, and he/she does not repeat the Beracha on the wine, since he was Yotzay already from the Kiddush.

When dealing with Hamotzy, some say that the case is different.

By Kiddush one tries harder to make sure that he hears the whole Beracha, and that he has Kavanah, this is found less by Hamotzy. We are also afraid of to much of a Hefsek.

Therefore, there are those that say that it is preferred to hear the Beracha, and therefore be Yotzay on Lechem Mishnah (Some say that he can be Yotzay Lechem Mishneh even if he didn't wash yet, as long as he didn't take his mind off the bread.)

And when he receives his piece of Challah, he makes his own Birchat Hamotzi.

There are those that say that this should be done, especially when there are a lot of people attending the meal.

Women are also required in Lechem Mishneh.

One should not give the piece of bread into the hands of the receiver, since this is the way of mourning. Rather, one should put it in front of the person and allow him to take it from the table.

On Friday night, one should cut the bottom Challah, yet he should move the bottom one closer to him, since one should make the Beracha on the closer one.

For Shabbos lunch, one should cut the top one

Good Shabbos !

Yaacov Silverstein

(When a Halacha question arises please do not use the above , rather ask a reliable Halachik authority. The above is only used to give the reader additional Halacha knowledge.)