Parshas Beshalach

Parshas Beshalach

As the Jewish people leave the land of Egypt, Pharaoh’s heart is once again hardened. The Egyptian army pursues the former slaves, trapping them on the shores of the Red Sea. Moses raises his hand over the sea, miraculously parting the waters and allowing the Jewish people to pass through safely. Pursued by the Egyptians into the sea, Moses once again raises his hand and the waters come crashing down upon Pharaoh’s army. Awed by this indisputable miracle, Moses leads the Jewish people in the Shir Shel Yam, a song of praise to G-d acknowledging a debt of gratitude for their remarkable salvation.

After traveling from the Red Sea, and following the miraculous sweetening of the bitter waters at Marah, the Jewish people complain to Moses and Aaron that they have no food to eat. G-d responds by providing a great test of faith; a daily ration of manna that would fall from the sky for forty years every morning, except for Shabbos. Some suggest that the manna was the greatest miracle the Jewish people ever experienced. A constant water source is also given when G-d commands Moses to strike a rock, miraculously causing water to flow from it. The portion concludes with the nation of Amalek’s unprovoked sneak attack and the Jewish people’s victory.