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Parashat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)

Parashat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/torah_portion/article/parashat_beshalach_exodus_1317-1716_20100126

As someone who is uncomfortable with war as a way of solving problems, I always search deep inside myself during the week of Parashat Beshalach, in which we are finally freed from Egypt and leave in a whirlwind of death, destruction and God’s awesome power. According to the Slonimer Rebbe, a wonderful 20th century commentator known for the Netivot Shalom, God needed the plagues and the strong show of force to rouse the people from their slave mentality. Why should the Israelites choose to leave the relative comfort of the status quo — although it is slavery, what’s known is often seen as safer — to follow an unknown, unproven God? God needed a show of force to free our ancestors.

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