I hate injustice. I always have. And when faced with it, I will fight till the bitter end to redeem the victim.

But there are situations when fighting the negative is just not the way to go. And time and time again, I fail to remember that.

The Torah portion of Beshalach recounts how the Jews ran from Egypt with the Egyptians following right behind. Here they had finally escaped from slavery, they were finally on their way to freedom, and then, bam . . . they hit the sea.

Can you imagine? You run from your enemy, and then hit the stumbling block of all stumbling blocks?

Needless to say, the Jews did not agree on how to proceed. There were four main opinions.

The first group had had enough. There was no way they would return to Egypt, but they saw no other way out. Figuring they had reached their end, they basically gave up: I hate injustice. I always have. And when faced with it, I will fight till the bitter end to redeem the victimrefusing to let the Egyptians kill them, they figured they would just do it themselves by drowning.

I know I wouldn’t have gone along with this group. For one, drowning is one of the most miserable deaths, and there would be no way I would volunteer for that. But more so, I wouldn’t want to give my enemy the pleasure of fulfilling their mission for them.

The second group wanted to go back and surrender. Now, that is so not me. No way in the world would I have let myself be enslaved again, when freedom was close enough to taste. But that group felt they were better off alive and enslaved than free and dead.

The third group absolutely refused to give up, either by returning to slavery or by drowning in the sea. If they were going to die, they were going to die fighting till the last breath. They would turn away from the sea, head straight for the enemy and battle for their freedom.

Now, here is the group I would have joined. This is exactly where I find myself so often in life. Someone did something wrong. Something happened that was unfair. And I You just have to move. You have to know where you need to get to and refuse to let anything stop thatcan’t rest until I have fought and fought to right that wrong. The thing is, sometimes fighting isn’t the way to change the situation. Sometimes, the right thing to do is to walk away. Not face the negative, but turn one’s back on it. Disarm it, not through battle, but through refusing to engage. Usually, I figure this out a bit too late.

And then there was the fourth group. Feeling that there was nowhere to go and nothing to do, what was left but to stop and pray? I mean, sounds like the right thing to do. Certainly a holy option. Yet there is a time and place for everything. And when your enemy is on your tail, stopping is not the right choice, even if it is to pray. G‑d wants to hear from us, but not in place of action. Not in place of us doing what we gotta do.

Now, all of these groups had a logic to their approach. Not necessarily the healthiest or appropriate logic, but a logic nonetheless. And perhaps that was part of the problem. When faced with the seemingly impossible, it is beyond logic, beyond nature. You just have to move. You have to know where you need to get to and refuse to let anything stop that.

Moses took charge, unified the four factions, and made it clear that there was no time to waste and only one direction to go . . . and that was forward. Yes, the Egyptians were on their tail, and the sea was in front of them. The difference was, he didn’t view the sea as an obstacle. He didn’t focus on the water before him, but on the end goal, which was to get as far away as possible from Egypt.

And no, it wasn’t easy. It’s not like we put our toes in the water and the sea split for us. Then again, is the answer to any major dilemma in life simple? If it is, it wasn’t a real dilemma. It took Nachshon ben Aminadav, the first brave soul leading the group, to enter the water up until his neck before those waters parted way. Up to his neck! We all know the expression “to stick your neck out there”—well, it is true. If we want something badly enough and if we believe it needs to happen, we better act on it.

If we give up hope, all is over. If we surrender, we will never have the strength to leave again. If we are busy fighting, we will have our backs turned to where we need to be heading. And if we stop and pray, we will relinquish the G‑d-given strength and power that He bestowed upon us to do the right thing through our actions.

And that is really why this hits home so deeply for me. I know I would have been back there fighting. And it is not a question of whether or not I believe that there is a direction I should head, and that I should keep going at all costs. It is more that I sometimes am so busy fighting what is behind me that I forget to look ahead. When I am busy dealing with darkness, it makes it impossible to bring in more light.

Of course, there are times when the enemy must be dealt with head-on. But that is When it is behind us, when it is in the past, we need to leave it thereonly when that enemy stands in the way of our getting where we need to go. When it is behind us, when it is in the past, we need to leave it there. Even if we are sure it is chasing us, we have to keep going with our goal and destination in mind. It is so tempting to turn around, to want to see how close the enemy is getting; but every time we do so, we slow ourselves down and risk falling for the trap of engaging rather than ignoring.

And, as satisfying as it is to fight that fight and defeat the enemy—I have, as my mother would always tell me, a habit of winning the battle but losing the war. So, as tempting as that third group might be, it is the last group which we need to join.

Fortunately, there was that group of Jews that just kept moving forward. Straight into the water they went, and when they were submerged up to their necks, that was when the sea split. The most amazing of miracles was waiting to take place, waiting for those who were willing to face their future head-on.