Insights to Parshat Beshalach:
פרק טו-פסוק-ד: ומבחר שלשיו טבעו בים סוף
The roots of the word טבעו to drown or to sink is ט ב ע, the Hebrew word for nature. This is in order to remind us that G-d performs his miracles in a way that uses the natural world of which G-d is the master.
His elite officers were sunk in the Reed Sea
This week we celebrate טו בשבט, the holiday that celebrates a new year for the trees and the corresponding glory of nature. As we start to move into the spring, and begin to see tree buds blooming and twigs extending to welcome the new season, take a moment and think about the power behind them that continually regenerates them and makes them grow.
עלו בני ישראל מארץ מצרים
It should say that they יצאו מארץ מצרים , that they exited from Egypt (the book, of course, is called Exodus!) The specificity of the verb went up (as opposed to simply exiting) is to teach us that, with this exodus, the Israelites elevated themselves spiritually from the impurity by which they were surrounded in Egypt.
And the children of Israel went up from the land of Egypt (13:18)
Lesson: We live in the Western Culture with the new fashion and the latest technology. Do we ever stop and think and ask ourselves do I really need this? Is this skirt to tight... to short? Do I look like the daughter of Hashem or do I look like Americas next big thing? We need to represent ourselves as the Jewish nation. Look around you we are being hated simply because we are Jewish. Don't let that stop you from preserving Judaism it should make you embrace it even more.
פרק טו- פסוק כג: ויבאו מרתה ולא יכלו לשתות מים ממרה כי מרים הם
The Hebrew word for bitter, מר, in Gematriya (the numerical values of the letters) is equal to 240. The name of Amalek עמלק, the nation that attacks the Children of Israel in this Parsha, in Gemtriya is also equal to 240. The numerical equivalence of these two words is to teach that when we are bitter or when we have doubt in G-d and in ourselves, it is then that Amalek comes to fight us.
They came to Marah but they could not drink the water for they were bitter. Therefore, it was called Marah (15:23).
This attack is described in chapter 17 where we see that, immediately following the Israelites testing of G-d, Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim:
(17:8) פרק יז - פסוק ח: ויבא עמלק וילחם עם ישראל ברפידים
However, as Moses, Joshua and the people fight against Amalek in this scene, they believe in G-d and achieve victory. It is only when we overcome our inner Amalek, our inner evil inclinations and manifestations of doubt that we can be victorious.
Lesson: Who is Amalek? Amalek is the evil inclination within us who allows us to doubt in Hashems greatness and who pushes us away from Hashem. Amalek is the being who no matter what miracle Hashem preforms in his eyes its apart of nature.
This Shabbat meditate on Hashems greatness and praise Him!