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Parshas Beshalach (Shabbos Shirah) 5784

ויקראו בית ישראל את שמו מן ... (טז-לא)

MASHAL: When R’ Elya Lopian zt”l, was a young man studying in the yeshivah in Kelm, he joined a select group of elite Torah scholars. At one point, the group decided to hold a nightly meeting at which each member would reveal any thoughts he might have had during the day that he felt could use improvement. This exercise, they hoped, would motivate them to make a greater effort to perfect themselves.

At the first meeting, one of the most pious members, R’ Tzvi Hirsch Broide zt”l, was called upon to begin. Facing the group, he tried to talk but instead blushed bright red. He cleared his throat and tried again, to no avail. Finally, he stammered to his esteemed friends that he simply couldn’t bring himself to tell them about his lowly thoughts.

At a later point in time, R’ Elya found himself in a private corner with R’ Tzvi Hirsch. “For the sake of Hashem,” R’ Elya pleaded, “please reveal what it was that you found too humiliating to share with the whole group.”

At first R’ Tzvi Hirsch stammered and did not wish to respond, but then reluctantly agreed. “That evening, just before davening maariv, I thought to myself, I hope my wife will prepare potatoes for supper ... Can you imagine entertaining a thought about potatoes, at a time when I ought to be preparing to stand before our Creator?!”

NIMSHAL: Hashem commanded Aharon to take off a portion of mann and hide it in a jar. This tzintzenes hamon was hidden in the Aron Kodesh to show that Hashem’s food was “Heaven sent” and provided for our every need. This physical reminder was essential to emphasize the importance of not focusing on the pleasures of this world, rather trusting in Hashem that He can provide exactly what we need in this world.The first mitzvah in the Torah is mentioned in this week’s parsha (see first Rashi in Bereishis). Now is a good time for us to reflect on the value of each and every mitzvah that will be discussed throughout the Torah from here on.



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