In Beshalach Portion, the children of Israel are facing two wars fronts. What do those war fronts represent when it comes to in our inner development of psyche and consciousness and what is the divine command as for how we can overcome both?
Beshalach takes us to the shore of Yam Suf – the Red Sea, where the Israeli nation, led by Moshe, faced one of the most terrifying state of affairs in their journey to freedom. As a nation their spirit was broken, some of them even wanted to return to Egypt and continue to live under the oppression and enslavement of the Egyptian ruler and his people. At this point, this infant nation does not even know how to think for itself not to mention of how to protect itself.
On the shore of the Red Sea, the children of Israel felt such fear and embarrassment that they could not take it anymore. Their sense of self was empty and shattered. Consumed by the yeas of enslavement, shaken by the forces and sights they witnessed and overwhelmed with the fast forward movement they had to adjust to - Their entire existence was at jeopardy and they sensed it.
They left everything they knew behind hoping to start a new beginning as free people as was promised to them. For the first time to feel safe and protected… However, G-d had other plans for them.
Well… as we well know, to reform human character takes much more than “special effects” no matter how divine their origin. To modify human character takes time, and time always seems to complicate things. Especially the tangible and delicate ones. Especially now.
At this devastating point in time, the only thing that they could do was to rely on the powers of G-d to assist them. Or in other words, to fully trust this ancient-new bond and to adjust themselves to a state of complete surrender. Immediately after this, the fear and embarrassment would be replaced in a huge gratitude and appreciation for the divine interference, guidance and protection. Their gratitude was so great that they pronounced all their emotions in a somewhat of an interesting way - with a song.
This song known to be a pillar of belief in Jewish tradition – believers sing it every day all over the world. This song is called Shirat Hayam - “The Song at the Sea”. This historic moment, when they miraculously passed through the see while it consumed the entire Egyptian army, will be forever remembered as the miracle of the crossing, as a step the Israeli nation took in terms of complete faith in G-d. And what interesting is that This week’s Haftarah that is taken from the Book of Judges also contains a song in it. This one, the Song of Deborah, was written several hundred years later and was sung at the conclusion of a fierce military campaign of the Israelis against the army of Sisrarh. So what is it about singing that is so important to us now, and what does it tell us about our journey?
Many great miracles and wonders related to redemption in the bible evident themselves by singing. We have the singing of the well, the singing of David, Moshe singing at the end of the Torah and the singing of the sea. We can also say that most of the prophets give their prophecies while singing. This song that Moshe and the Children of Israel sing now is written in future tense. It is a Song for the Future, a fitting epilogue to an overwhelming moment that has come to be identified with the children of Israel expression of faith and their recognition of God’s role as protector and warrior.
The Song at the Sea begins with the Hebrew words “az ya-shir.” Again, written in the future tense. The word AZ that opens Shirat Hayam has an Alef above Zaiin - one above seven.
We have a fraze in the Zohar saying: Tlat Nafkei Mechad Chad Betlat Kaymei. Which means in English that - Three derived from one, One exist in the three. One is G-d. and so look at what can happen to Israel when light of the one that is derived from the three comes to the seven. Moreover, the letter Alef in Hebrew describes G-d as He is the One true force or power to whom we are connected with. While the letter Zaiin in Hebrew also means 'tools of war' or 'weapon'. Even more fascinating is the fact that the word 'weapon' in Hebrew is similar to the word 'to kiss'. This power of the one plus the seven is a sort of a secret weapon or a kiss God uses to fight his enemies and make love to his loved ones.
We are constantly aspire to get closer to God, To get to 'know' him or at least try to understand and perceive His actions made upon us, and in any way to be marveled by his creation reveled in hidden steps. And one of these hidden steps in the portion we can see in Miriam. Miriam the prophet, Aaron and Moshe’s sister, took the drums in her hand and all the women went out after her in dance with drums. Miriam function here as the leader of prayer. Prayer not only in mouth but also with the heart and the entire body. A song that is accompanied by drums is stirring the soul and captivating the heart and id it wasn’t for Miriam none of this would have happened. Even more amazing is the fact that the Midrash tells us, that the angels could not say their own poetry until Miriam gave them the permission to do so. So all forces of nature as well as those beyond nature are here, accompanying Israel.
And this is important for us to remember because shortly after the children of Israel fled Egypt and right before they moved forward in order to receive the Torah in Mount Sinai,
in this portion, they are facing two wars – The war with Pharaoh and the Egyptian nation and the war with Amalek. This week's Torah portion educates us of how to oppose each of these enemies in those different wars, how to deal with them. while each of them, and its important to say, represents two different mental states within our psych.
In the war against Pharaoh and the Egyptian nation it is said that G-d would fight for you while you would remain in silence, and we also know that nothing really happened until Nachshon Ben Aminadav went inside the water. Making the first move. In Amalek war on the other hand, the approach is "come out and fight the Amalek".
Before taking under consideration the differences of mental approach needed in order to deal with each nation in battle - dealing with these two forms of mental war states let's touch the differences between Egypt and Amalek.
Egypt as we know is the desire to receive, the ego in its most fundamental lean towards its possessions. The war against the Egyptians pronounce a war against a metal state in which we are consumed by selfishness. While Amalek signifies something else – Amalek signifies doubt. It is a well-known fact that doubt can eat us from the inside. When in a state of doubt we are not sure any more about our way. We are doubting in ourselves but even more serious - we start doubting G-d. Let us remember – the Israeli nation has a mission – they are on their way to receive the Torah. And here is where we can see the difference in those two war fronts that we are to deal with.
Pharaoh was behind the Israeli nation. He did not stand between them and Mount Sinai, but between them and their old state of mind, their egos, their selfishness. They remember the fish in Egypt… Amalek, on the other hand, stood between the Israelis and Mount Sinai. He was a hostile factor that tried to prevent them from completing their mission – get to the Promised Land and receiving the Torah.The difference between Egypt and Amalek is fundamental. Egypt represent our inner selfish needs. The deceiving ego – the false belief it has in the abilities of the self as the only source of power. When a person believe in his own abilities, naturally he does not give room to G-d’s abilities to guide him and lead him on the right path. Amalek on the other hand is not a need we have. Amalek has nothing to do with our ego or our sense of selfishness. As we can see in the biblical story, Amalek is trying to delay us, it is a delaying force - an inhibitor. Amalek is a representor of an inner Disbelief of some sort in our capabilities, or in G-d abilities in what we can achieve and on our path towards what that has divinely destined to us by G-d.
Thus, These two nations - Egypt and Amalek, express different mental states. Both unsorted processes within our psyche. However while the one keep us inside the controlling Ego as its prisoners, the other is there to delay us. Amalek is a state of self-aggression, this force is trying to stop us, to delay us, so that we will not move-on and continue our journey.In accordance with the differences between these two nations, comes also the difference in the Torah’s command when it comes to how we are supposed to deal with each of them. With regard to the war with Egypt, it is explicitly stated “I will fight for you and while you will be in silence”. By this command g-d s telling us - you cannot cope with your Ego on your own, your selfishness or selfish needs are there as I chose to put you there. You are selfish because you are human - this is how I have made you. All you can do - is escape from it. TO Run away from it as fast as possibly can. The minute you will run away, you will then be able to trust a force that is above your self - the Creator, the true force that is actually control’s everything you do and everything that happen. This Force – G-d – will assist you along the way, with His miraculous that are beyond your nature. Because G-d is beyond nature. This is how we need to deal with Egypt.
Against Amalek as we shall see there is only one unique authority that is capable of dealing with this force – which is our inner doubt. Against the force who tries to delay us from getting closer to our goal… the only one who can confront with Amalek is Moshe - the leader of the Israeli nation. The force and source of leadership inside ourselves. In the war against Amalek Moshe is the one who leads the nation to victory. He was the one who prayed for the people, who ordered Yehushoa to choose people who will face Amalek in battle, the one who climb on the hill and raised his hands in belief. Moshe with the people brought the victory.
On that hill, Moshe raises his hands to the sky – up to the heavens. When Moses would raise his hand, Israel would prevail, and when he would lay down his hand, Amalek would prevail.In other words, When Moshe hands will be strong enough to rise, the power of Israel will overcome the power of Amalek and when his hands will weaken, the power of Amalek will overcome the power of Israel.And the Torah tells us – that he held his hands in faith until sunset.With the self-aggression we can find in Amalek – and again, we are talking here about a state of mind within ourselves. The doubt. – the Torah teaches us or if you want – the Divine command, is to fight against it with all our strength. With great belief. We must raise our hands in belief to the heavens and not to fall into any kind of despair. When it comes to facing the Amalek inside ourselves, we must fight against it vigorously, while the Believe in G-d will increase our power against it, and any slightest form of disbelief will weaken us and give him the opportunity to win us over. After all, every delaying factor will only delay us if we are seeing it as such. Amalek will delay us when our vision is narrow and short. when we are not open to see the good in what the creator gave us, because we know - everything that G-d does for us is good, even the things we do not recognize as good while we are delayed from reaching our destination. When confronting Amalek together with our belief, we will find within ourselves new powers we did not even know existed in us.
So what is the force within us that can help us achieve victory over Amalek? This collaborating force of Moshe and the people can only be found in Malchut (count) the attribute of (kingship). Let’s explain how and why.
The great victory over Egypt, and the splitting of the Red Sea as we saw - was Bina. When the one is joining the seven. Were forces from above and forces from below meet and form collaboration. That is when the unnatural can happen. And so we can see that if up until now miracles were happening around the children of Israel now miracles actually happening to them.
There is a great joy in being possessed by a power greater then yourself, when we can get our ego out of the way. When the “I am” becomes “He is”.And this is happening when we are on the state of Malchut. Malchut literally means kingdom or kingship. This attribute is a fascinating one. Malchut Means That-in-of-myself, I am nothing. That is the first and most important thing when it comes to understanding this attribute. That is the secret to all blessings, to all receptivity. To realize that in-and-off-myself I am nothing.
We do not really have the power to control our lives. We are not the ones who responsible over the beating of our hearts and same thing with our mind. We think we are thinking but how much of all those thinking really is under our control? The truth is, we cannot stop thinking just as we cannot stop our heart from beating – and thanks G-d for that.
As much as sometimes we would like to stop we can’t. We are always thinking. Even when we are sleeping we are thinking. What we think can be my choice, and even that, is not much our choice sometimes… But That we think? In that, we have no choice. We am constantly thinking. And the same is regarding to our feelings.
Even free choice isn’t completely free. Because we always want something. What we want could be our choice, we hope it is our choice, but That we want? In that we have no choice.
What we choose is our choice, but the fact That we are to choose? In that we have no choice.
That is the taste of Malchut. Malchut is a realization that in-and-off-myself I am really nothing.
All the powers in me are not from Me.
We don’t know how to lift our hands or speak we just do it. Everything we do all day long, we really do not know how to do, and yet, we are doing it. Clearly, the powers within us are not from us. That is a Malchut consciousness. When we realize that all the powers within us - are not from us. That is when we activate the Malchut. Than is when we realize that the more powers we presumably possess the more we are to be appreciative of the one who gave us these powers. And this stage in conscience awareness is extremely important, and if I may say, even crucial, for this is going to take us up the leader hear.
When we realize that all the powers within us are not from us, than a gate is open to more powers – to powers that are beyond what nature can give us, and that is because G-d is above nature. When coming to these realization we may start to feel a tremendous sense of responsibility because we realize that these powers are a gift. And we are only a receiver, just like a radio, we are a transmitter, and the way we turn ourselves on and tune ourselves in to these powers is to know they are not ours. All our capacity to think and to feel is coming from G-d. The more we realize that all the powers within us are not from us, the more we will be able to manifest those powers. The prayer we should say in accordance to this understanding is PLEASE GOD USE ME> or THANK YOU G-D FOR ALL THE GIFTS>
The correct way of the “I am” is in a state of service. Of appreciation. The Israeli nation on the shore of the Red Sea understood it. The song was the manifestation of their realization of the fact that everything that has had been given to them is a divine gift. In a Malchut state a person experience the true meaning of humility. When stending at the shores of the Red Sea, the Israeli nation experienced the highest level of spirituality – a supreme closeness to God. The manifestation of Godliness was so clear that everyone could literally point a finger and say: “This is my God, and I will glorify Him.” And now we are going to jump to the top. If “in-and-out of myself”, I am nothing, so in-and-out-of-G-d I am godly, and this is Keter. It is not the – “I am” of ego but rather it is the “I am” which recognize the “He IS” – this is the higher and elevated “I am”.