In Parshas Beshalach, the Jewish people experience the splitting and subsequent crossing of the Sea of Reeds. After so many miracles— after the 10 plagues, after slaughtering Egypt’s idol, the sheep, for the karban pesach— should there really be more miracles now? Hadn’t the ‘allotment’ run out?
The truth is that while seeing or experiencing miracles can lead to faith in Hashem, faith, itself, can lead to miracles. This, in fact, IS the story of Mitzrayim, all the way back to the start of the tale of Moshe Rabeinu.
In Parshas Shemos it says, “a man from the house of Levi took a daughter of Levi,” which was the marriage announcement of Moshe Rabeinu’s parents, Amram and Yocheved.
As the Torah doesn’t announce every marriage that occurred, what was the relevance of this declaration? Pharaoh, in an attempt to stop the redeemer of the Jewish people from being born, made a decree that all Jewish baby boys must be killed. Amram, the father of Miriam and Aharon haCohen, divorced his wife prior to Moshe Rabeinu’s existence to prevent more male births and hence, prevent more deaths. Since he was the leader of the generation, others followed suit and any reversal of that decision would require a wide-spread declaration. Miriam haNiviah, the prophetess and the daughter of Amram, exclaimed, “But Father, you are worse than Pharaoh. Not only are you keeping the boys from existing, but the girls as well!” She believed it was worth bringing girls into the world, even in a country as wretched as Mitzrayim.
And who was born as a result of this rejoining? As a result of this belief? The one who would lead them out of Egypt (and a conduit for many miracles), Moshe Rabeinu himself. All because Miriam had faith and believed.
In Parshas Beshalach specifically, two events come to mind that continue this miracle-faith, faith-miracle pattern: Nachshon ben Aminadov jumped into the sea, causing it to split, and the women of Klal Yisroel used tambourines to join together in song once the troubles had ended.
Nachshon took initiative, a literal ‘leap of faith,’ which was the catalyst for the miracle of the splitting of the Sea.
The Jewish women pulled out musical instruments and began to sing and dance in order to praise Hashem. Where, pray tell, did these women get these instruments in the desert?
Rashi on Chapter 15, verse 21, notes that the righteous Jewish women knew there would be miracles, knew that they would have a use for these musical accompaniments, as vehicle for praising Hashem. They had faith, and the miracles did, indeed, come.
Miriam haNiviah believed. The women of the nation believed. Nachshon ben Aminadov, too, believed. Never doubt the power of faith and of belief.
Parshas Beshalach by Gittela Harris
Originally printed in Maamarai Eitz Chaim