Trumah: Chapter 84

Man's sustenance is as difficult to obtain as the splitting of the Red Sea


Rabbi Shimon explains here that even though it is difficult for God to see the wicked and the sinners, still He feeds and sustains everyone according to the supernal Chesed that is drawn and flows over all the inhabitants of the world. With it He feeds and sustains all the righteous, and the pious, and the wicked, and all the people of the world, and all the beasts and animals of the field, and the birds of the heavens - from the horns of the buffalo to the eggs of lice. So why, we are asked, was this as difficult for God as the splitting of the Red Sea, which should have been easy for Him? Rabbi Shimon explains that when the children of Yisrael called for God to part the sea, the minister of Egypt spoke and reminded Him of the sins committed by them, and that He should judge them accordingly and let them drown. Yet, we are told, God split the sea for them because of the righteousness of Abraham, who rose up early in the morning to fulfill His commandments.


Here we learn again that God shines His Light on the just and the unjust, that the rains fall on the righteous and the wicked, that sustenance is given to everyone. In this way, each of us is enabled to play out our destiny, to exercise free will, to move toward or away from God in the space He has made for us. And, we learn, He will always show mercy, even when we have sinned.

On a deeper level, Kabbalah informs us that Moses and the children of Israel split the Red Sea by virtue of their own transformations of character. As the Red Sea stood before them, and the Egyptian army raced towards them from behind, doubt and uncertainty gripped the Israelites. Nevertheless, using the power of the 72 Names of God to transcend their own fears and uncertainties, the Israelites walked into the sea until the waters filled their nostrils. This immense display of trust was a miracle of human nature. In turn, their behavioral actions ignited a miracle of Mother Nature: the seas parted as the waters rose to the heavens.

Though we all sin, we utilize this passage and the righteousness of Abraham to accomplish our own miracles of nature - to forever change our ways and correct all the sins of our past. This miraculous occurrence causes miracles of nature. And there is no greater miracle than the world's liberation from the clutches of the angel Satan (metaphorically represented as Yisrael fleeing the Egyptians through the parted Red Sea).

Granted, this is a feat as difficult as parting an ocean, but the strength, power, and Light of Abraham are here, with the 72 Names, to support us, so it is a fait accompli the moment our eyes and hearts embrace these ancient verses.