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Tuesday, 11 Shevat 5777 / February 7, 2017

Tuesday: Eliciting G-d’s Blessings

Tuesday: Eliciting G-d’s Blessings

Third Reading: Exodus 14:15–25

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Moses tried to calm the Jews and started to pray to G‑d for deliverance. But G‑d told Moses that there was no need to pray; all that was necessary was that he lift his staff over the sea and it would split, enabling the Jews to pass through it to safety.
Eliciting G‑d’s Blessings
וְאַתָּה הָרֵם אֶת מַטְּךָ וּנְטֵה אֶת יָדְךָ עַל הַיָּם וגו': (שמות יד:טז)
[G‑d told Moses,] “Take up your staff and raise your arm over the sea.” Exodus 14:15

The splitting of the Sea of Reeds was a miraculous and supernatural event. Yet there had to be a natural action to “ignite” the miracle: G‑d instructed the people to journey forward and Moses to lift his staff over the water. G‑d always demands some human act first and only then does He perform miracles.

This is because events that occur without our involvement do not truly affect us. Only when we expend some effort do we appreciate G‑d’s miracle. The same applies in all areas of life. Asking for G‑d’s blessings is not sufficient; we must make some effort that can serve as a conduit for the blessing.1

Footnotes
1.
Hitva’aduyot 5742, vol. 2, pp. 561–562.
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (11 Nissan 1902–3 Tammuz 1994) became the seventh rebbe of the Chabad dynasty on 10 Shevat 1950. He is widely acknowledged as the greatest Jewish leader of the second half of the 20th century, a dominant scholar in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah, and fluent in many languages and on scientific subjects. The Rebbe is best known for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew on the planet, having sent thousands of emissaries around the globe, dedicated to strengthening Judaism.

Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky is a scholar, author and anthologist, and is editor-in-chief at Chabad House Publications of California. He is the author and translator of Apples from the Orchard, gleanings from the writings of the Arizal (Rabbi Isaac Luria, 1534–1572) on the Torah, and is the author and editor-in-chief of the Kehot Chumash produced by Chabad House Publications, featuring an interpolated translation of the Torah with commentary adapted from the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
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Peter Bayliss LRPS Birmingham January 23, 2017

G-d at work ! Thanks for the teaching that also fits with New Testament theology that we pray and then asked to act believing that G-d has heard. This is praying in faith. Reply

Sue Kanata January 19, 2016

Gifted I have noticed that Moses was an amazingly gifted and faithful activist. I see him as if a physicist and geophysicist combined. Because our faith in the great flow of love and consciousness that we know is Gods' vitality, my mindset perceives all of life as resonant with original prayerfulness for survival and adaptation. So I feel that life is a prayer, that action promotrs the actualization of faith. Life is a prayer. Reply

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Blue resembles the sea, and the sea resembles heaven, and heaven resembles the Divine throne
  –Talmud, Sotah 17a
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