The Torah portion of Beshallach includes the phrase1 “and the sea returned to its [original] strength.” The Midrash notes that G‑d made the creation of the sea conditional on its willingness to split when the Jews were to pass through it.2 Moreover, states the Midrash,3 G‑d made a similar condition with all of creation — that it fulfill the will of the righteous, even if doing so involves a suspension of its basic nature.

G‑d is Master of the universe; why was it necessary for Him to make such conditions? He surely had the ability to split the sea in any case.

The ultimate purpose of creation is that the Jewish people, through their service of Torah and mitzvos — “Knowing G‑d in all your ways,”4 and “All your actions being for the sake of Heaven”5 — transform this world into a dwelling place for G‑d.

Just as the essence of an individual can be found within his physical dwelling, so too, G‑d’s essence will be found within the physical world.6 In order for this to be accomplished, the world must be able to receive a degree of G‑dliness far greater than it is by nature accustomed to.

By imposing a condition on the sea (and on all of creation) that when the appropriate time comes, the “natural” laws will be suspended for the sake of the Jewish people, the natural world became able to receive a much greater degree of Divinity than it could otherwise contain.

Were this condition not made, the world would stand in “opposition” to miracles and changes of nature, so that in order for a miracle to occur, nature would have to be “broken.” By making all of creation conditional on its ability to accept supernatural events, the physical world became intrinsically loftier, having gained the ability to relate not only to the world of the natural, but also to the supernatural.

So, G‑d’s precondition enabled the universe to exist in a more powerful manner.

When something is created for only a limited time, after which it must cease to exist, then its existence is a tenuous one — this inherent weakness serving as the cause for its ultimate cessation.7

It is thus to be understood that the world (bereft of G‑d’s precondition) would not enjoy a truly powerful state of existence, since it would have been created for only a limited period.8

But because G‑d created the world in such a way that it fulfills the will of the righteous, even if doing so runs “against nature,” it embraces a higher purpose, and becomes one with that purpose. That the world was created for the sake of the Jews and their performance of Torah and mitzvos makes the world one with them.

Since the existence of the Jewish people is eternal,9 as is the existence of Torah and mitzvos (for Torah and mitzvos represent the Eternal G‑d’s Will and Wisdom), by accepting this precondition, the world and its creatures took upon themselves a strength and vitality which they would never have had on their own, and they became eternal as well.

Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. VI, pp. 86-94