Sedra: Shabbat Pesach

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Sedra: Shabbat Pesach

Rabbi Jonny Roodyn looks ahead to this week's portion of the Torah

Rabbi Jonny Roodyn

The children of Israel are finally free, leaving Egypt behind and marching into the great unknown. 

Sorely regretting his actions, Pharaoh follows in hot pursuit with 600 horse-drawn chariots, as well as infantry and archers. With the Red Sea in front of them and their former captors behind them, the children of Israel find themselves in an impossible position and it seems like their newfound freedom will be extremely short-lived. 

The seventh day of Pesach commemorates the remarkable miracle of the splitting of the sea. The sea divides for just long enough to allow the Red Sea pedestrians to walk through and then comes crashing down on the Egyptian army, sending them to the bottom and untold spoils to the shore. 

Miracles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are obvious, like the splitting of the sea and others less so. All rules are meant to be broken at one point or another and the Creator of the universe has the ability to suspend what we perceive as the natural order so as to achieve His desired results. 

Truth be told, nature is also miraculous; it’s just that we are so used to it that we take it for granted. In fact, this is representative of our continued existence as a nation, which itself is nothing short of miraculous. 

So, raise your glass this Shabbat and drink a toast to miracles great and small and remember the words of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, that “A Jew who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist.”

  •  Rabbi Jonny Roodyn is education director of Jewish Futures and serves Finchley Federation Synagogue 

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