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This week's Torah Portion: 

16 B'SHALLACH - AFTER HE HAD LET GO - EXODUS 13:17-17:16

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  וַיְהִי בְּשַׁלַּח פַּרְעֹה אֶת־הָעָם וְלֹא־נָחָם אֱלֹהִים דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים כִּי קָרֹוב הוּא כִּי אָמַר אֱלֹהִים פֶּֽן־יִנָּחֵם הָעָם בִּרְאֹתָם מִלְחָמָה וְשָׁבוּ מִצְרָֽיְמָה

vay'hi b'shallach par'oh eht-ha'am v'lo-nacham elohim derekh eretz plishtim ki karov hua ki amar elohim pen-yinacheym ha'am bir'otam mil'chamah v'shavu mitzraymah

"After Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not guide them to the highway that goes through the land of the P'lishtim, because it was close by -God thought that the people, upon seeing war, might change their minds and return to Egypt."


“I will sing to ADONAI, for he is highly exalted: the horse and its rider he threw into the sea.”
”Sing to ADONAI, for he is highly exalted! The horse and its rider he threw into the sea!”

These are the jubilant words of Moshe and his sister Miryam the prophet as they express their praise at the miraculous rescue of Am Isra’el (People of Isra’el) by HaShem (15:1, 21). We all know the story: Pharaoh had finally released them, allowing them to travel into the desert to worship their God, but as soon as he and his fellow Egyptians “came to their senses,” they took up after them in hot pursuit, intending to reverse the situation. HaShem knowing the glory that was due his mighty name had led the mixed multitude by the way of Yam Suf (the Sea of Reeds, also known as the Red Sea). This was no ordinary wandering, for indeed, the text tells us that it was the Angel of the LORD, who is the LORD himself, which took the form of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When the Egyptians finally overtook them at the seashore, it was then that the Holy One performed his mighty work, and drove the sea back on either side, allowing them to cross over on dried ground. When the Pharaoh and his armies followed in pursuit, HaShem released the waters and they were all destroyed, both horse and rider!
— Parashat B'shallach