Beshalach: Chapter 10

"And He took off their chariot wheels"


Rabbi Shimon opens with "And He took off their chariot wheels," and, "Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures." He tells us that The Holy One, blessed be He, establishes His dominion through the Patriarchs. Jacob is attached to the Tree of Life, which never has any death in it, so God made him the chosen among the Patriarchs. The thrust of this whole section is that when the Holy One, blessed be He, wants to remove someone from power on this earth, He first removes their dominion above.

We read about the legions of above with all the Chariots entwined together and under the command of the highest holy beast. They all go and swim in the great sea, where the waves are judgments. Rabbi Yitzchak tells us that when the children of Yisrael approached the Red Sea, the Holy One, blessed be He called the minister who was appointed over the sea and told him that it was time to fulfill the condition that had been made when the sea was first created, that it should split before His children when the time came. And the reason that the Egyptians were killed by the sea was that the upper sea was aroused against them. The minister over Egypt had oppressed the Congregation of Yisrael with enslavement, so he was broken first, and then all the kingdoms below were broken.