Wednesday, April 11, 2007

pesach recovery - two ideas from the Ishbitza

Getting back to business is always hard to do after Yom Tov. Two thoughts from the Ishbitza:

1) After keriyas yam suf, the Torah tells us that Moshe forced Bnei Yisrael to leave the riverbank, “vaysa Moshe es Yisrael m’Yam Suf”. Of course collecting the booty and spoils of Egypt was an enticement to linger, yet all we find mentioned in the text mentions is the shirah itself. The Ishbitza explains that shirah was a spiritual boost of energy that affected all of Bnei Yisrael, from Moshe Rabeinu down to the lowest maidservant – ra’asa shifcha al hayam mah she’lo ra’ah Yechezkel ben Buzi. It is very hard to walk away from a spiritual plateau once reached. Yet, not walking away poses a great danger – Torah demands constant growth and hischadshus, not leveling off and becoming satisfied with having reached any level. Precisely because shirah already had such a powerful affect on the entire nation, Moshe realized nothing more would be gained by simply lingering at the same location. After appreciating an accomplishment, one must be willing to walk away and move on to the next set of challenges.

2) After leaving Yam Suf, Bnei Yisrael walked in the desert for three days with no water. In response to the people’s murmuring, Hashem showed Moshe a branch which turned the bitter waters which were found into sweet potable water. When walking away from a spiritual plateau, we should not fool ourselves into thinking we will immediately experience the same spiritual energy that brought us to past accomplishments – we may find ourselves thirsting for the water of Torah and spirituality and not find any to drink. This too, writes the Ishbitza, is part of the process of growth. Eventually those bitter waters can be turned into a sweet oasis, but what appears to be spiritual “downtime” is an inevitable part of journeying to greater heights.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:50 AM

    On the last point famous Chassidish Way to learn it "The water was bitter for them, Allegorically: After they left Har Sinai Learning as not as sweet as it was before, at Har Sinai. They went to Moshe to complain and he told them throw the bitter stick into the water, Allegorically:Throw your selves into the waters of Torah and only then will the water become sweet.