Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Learning How to Sing

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner
Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

In this week’s Torah portion, we learn about G-d splitting the sea for the Jews to walk on dry land and then reverting the water back to its original state to drown the Egyptians.  Subsequently, the Jews sang a song to G-d, that is why this Shabbos is customarily called the Shabbat of Song.

The Commentaries discuss the question of why didn’t the Jews sing to G-d after they were freed from Egypt.  The Exodus was seemingly as miraculous as the splitting of the sea.  They explain, that singing is an expression of joy and pleasure and the Jews did not reach this level of pleasure in their divine relationship until the splitting of the sea.

What occurred between the Exodus from Egypt and the splitting of the Sea that changed the Jewish people? The words in the Torah preceding the Song of the Jewish people states “The Jews believed in Hashem and Moses his servant.” Although the Jews had believed in Hashem in Egypt when Moses came to deliver G-d’s message they had not participated in this belief.  However, leaving Egypt was a leap of faith, because they were exiting Egypt without sufficient food and drink.  Additionally, after they left Egypt the Torah tells us that G-d told the Jews to travel back towards the direction of Egypt as to give the Egyptians the impression that they were lost and entice them to come fight the Jews and the Jews faithfully obliged.

Finally, when G-d told the Jews to enter the sea, we are taught that the sea didn’t split until the water went up to their nostrils. Thus, after the Jews reached this level of faith to Hashem were they ready to sing to Hashem.

This is an important lesson that we can learn in our lives.  Many times we are placed into situations where we have no choice but to act in a manner that demonstrates faith in Hashem.  Many times these situations are difficult and challenging but, still strong undoubtedly, we will be successful and thereafter begin to sing.

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About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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