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[Dvar Torah] Beshalach

In modern times, it is difficult to notice miracles. I mean, compared to biblical times, we don’t exactly see bread falling out of the sky or talking bushes. This week’s parashah, Beshalach, is a perfect example of this. Not only does the Red Sea miraculously split, allowing the Israelites to walk through the ocean, it also closes right after, conveniently killing all the Egyptians who attempt to stop them. Nevertheless, as if the splitting of the sea wasn’t enough, the Israelites still complain. They note how in Egypt at least they had food and water. So, G-d proves them wrong. He miraculously sweetens the bitter waters of Marah and astonishingly brings water from a rock. On top of that, he causes bread to rain out of heaven and sends quails for them to eat. And if this wasn’t enough to amaze you, at the end of the parashah, the Israelites win in a battle against the Amalekites. And, mind you, the Israelites just came from hundreds of years of slavery. And yet they still won.  

So, you might wonder, why doesn’t G-d spoil us like that today? Why don’t we see miracles? And to be honest with you, I don’t know. But, it would be a lie if I told you that miracles still don’t happen. It is astonishing to think that technology has advanced so much that we have these little machines in our hands that can do almost anything. We don’t need the splitting of the sea, we have planes, cars, and boats to help us. And manna? Who needs that when you can order food from any cuisine you want from the comfort of your own home. 

In some ways, life has never been easier, and let’s not forget about the coincidental things too. Have you ever caught the bus at exactly the right time? Played shuffle play on your playlist and got the exact song you wanted? Thought of a friend, just as you receive a message from them? Yes, granted these miracles are smaller, but when you think about it, the Israelites saw all these amazingly miraculous things, and yet they still complained. 

We have to consider that they didn’t have all the privileges that we have today; all the knowledge, the phones, the technology that makes our world go round. It might be difficult to see the silver lining at times, especially with the uncertainty of Covid still lingering over our heads. But we have to be appreciative of the amazing world we have built. It is time to acknowledge that in our own modern ways, miracles still happen if you look for them and that we have to keep our hopes and dreams alive. 

Shabbat shalom and shavua tov!

Eden, Grade 12