Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Beshalach

This Shabat is the Shabat of shira - of song. The rejoicing of the people of Israel at their salvation from the hands of Pharaoh was celebrated and is commemorated until today by the great poem and song of Moshe and Israel. This year, our song is enhanced by the fact that the new year of trees - TU B'SHVAT - falls on the day of Shabat of Bshalach. In my opinion, there is a strong connection between the parsha of Bshalach and TU B'SHVAT. And the connection is made in at least two ways.

The first is that the Jewish people are promised that they will be brought into the Land of Israel and "planted" there - t'veamo v'titoaymo. A people are not granted rights of residence automatically in any land. These rights of residence are earned - the people must be "planted" in the country to truly belong there. And planting requires work, care, persistence, prayer and unceasing attention. The relationship therefore of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is precisely the same as that of the farmer to his orchard. The farmer has invested all of his talent and efforts into his orchard to make certain that the orchard will produce fruit and provide sustenance. The Jewish people must invest their efforts and talent into the Land of Israel in order to earn the right of permanent residence there. In fact, this has been the story of the Jewish return to the Land of Israel over the past century and half. The attempt to permanently "plant" ourselves in the Holy Land is a continual and never-ending one. It still requires our attention fifty-one years after the establishment of the state.

The second connection between TU B'SHVAT and Bshalach concerns itself with the staff of Moses that he carries with him up the mountain to supervise the battle that Joshua fights against Amalek. The symbolism of the staff will be found again in the Torah when the staff of Aharon blossoms to prove his right to the priesthood. There the wooden and apparently dead staff comes to life and sprouts blossoms and fruit. It is able to do so because it is in the proximity of the Ark of the Lord. Spirituality, Torah, holiness can convert what appears to be an inanimate staff into a living productive tree. Therefore the staff is the correct symbol with which to conduct the war against Amalek. For Amalek's power is physical, one of death and destruction and negativity. The power of Israel is one of song and holiness and transformation of the physical into the blessings of the spiritual. These lessons of TU B'SHVAT and Shabat Shira are valid today for us as perhaps never before. May we therefore be able to sing the song of Israel triumphant in our generations as well.

Shabat Shalom.

Rabbi Berel Wein


Text Copyright © 2000 Rabbi Berel Wein and Project Genesis, Inc.



 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Dream the Impossible Dream
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Ask for Spiritual Wealth
Shlomo Katz - 5762

> The House that Truth Built
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Bless You!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

The Lech Lecha Test Rates Higher Than The Ur Kasdim Test
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Learning How To Walk
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Enduring Lesson
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

To The Place G-d Will Show Us
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Freedom of Man
Shlomo Katz - 5760

The Wandering Jew
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Big Potential
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

ArtScroll

Divine intervention in Our Wars Against Our Enemies
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Count Us If You Can
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Use Them or Lose Them
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Worthy of the Brocha!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information