Seas Beyond Reason

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Seas Beyond Reason

Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita

The Gemorah Pesachim tells us:

‘Rav Shizvi said in the name of R’ Elazar ben Azaryah: Providing man’s sustenance is as difficult as the splitting of the Sea of Reeds.’ (118a)

Such a simple vertel, it sort of makes everything ok. I need parnasah, its tough, like splitting a sea, and Hashem will help. No sweat, except, well it’s not all that simple is it? In fact what really is the connection with the Splitting of the Sea and our making a living? The Rebbe Rav Bunim of Pshischa Zt”l tells us that when the Yidden were standing at the edge of the sea at that critical moment, each one was waiting for something miraculous to happen. Every individual had their own thoughts of how they would be saved. However one thing no one thought of was that the sea would actually split.  From all the ideas, all the schemes that all those Yidden had, the Eibishter brought a salvation that no one even dreamt of. The same is with parnasah, we make plans, devise scenarios, figure out all kinds of schemes and then, well Hashem sends us parnasah from a direction we never would have thought of.

Sitting here in Manchester England I can vouchsafe for the Rebbe’s holy words. If someone would have told me I would be writing these words in Prestwich all those years ago, I would have thought that you had somehow misplaced your mind. I didn’t even know where Manchester was much less think that I would spend much of my life here as a Rav and writer. Yet, well here I am, a third generation Yankee tapping away my thoughts on a machine that didn’t even exist back then. Oh and just to add a bit more of Divine mystery to all this, most of my married grandchildren, all of whom were born in the U.K, now live in, yes, the good old U.S. of A.

So no, we can’t plan, we must try our best to support ourselves but in the final analysis it is Hashem and His unfathomable plan that keeps the world spinning.

The Yismach Yisroel adds something extremely uplifting to this understanding. This dynamic also takes place in regard to our spiritual ‘Parnasah’. When a Yied feels fallen and wonders how it is possible for him to ever become a true Baal Teshuva. He thinks to himself; “how can I ever crawl out of the quagmire of stale Yiddishkiet I have allowed myself to fall into?” He doesn’t believe he can even daven, he is full of the sadness that his sins have caused. He dreams of ways to be better, but nothing seems to work.

In the same way that Hashem split the sea, so He creates paths for Teshuva you may never even have thought of. Inspiration springs forth from places you never even were aware existed.

I stood under a unique chupa recently. The Choson Kallah are Geirim, they and their children joined Klall Yisroel last week, and now they were bonding kedas Moshe Ve’Yisroel. Where did their will to be part of our nation come from? I can imagine there is more than one book that could try to describe their journey, but in the end, it was Hashem’s Will that they take this momentous step. I have the pleasure that the Chosen davens in our shtieble, and his true raw belief is something that brings chizuk to all. As they stood there I felt that the Heavens were illuminated with this new source of kedusha. The couple and their children must have stood at many a sea edge, wondering where their future would lead. Theirs has been a miraculous voyage, one that in truth is just beginning.

Hashem splits all our seas when we close our eyes and have true unadulterated faith.  We live in a complicated world, we should never take anything for granted, Hashem is there for us, creating our tests and their resolutions. This is the sweet mysterious song that lingers from Kriyas Yom Suf.