Dvar Torah Parshat Beshalach 5772 2012

There are two types of people. There are the doers. They see a task that needs to be done and they do not hesitate to step forward and tackle the task. At times it may even entail dire consequences. The undertaking may even result in serious harm or cost to the individuals. They know, however, that it must be done and they do not consider the detrimental outcome that may result. Such persons must be commended.

On the other hand, there are people who will never volunteer or lift a finger to try something that may be dangerous. They will wait until others have paved the way and only then will they venture to step in and participate.

When the Bnei Yisrael were encamped at the Red Sea and the Egyptians were in hot pursuit, they had only one choice. They could not turn back. They could only go forward into the sea. The Torah says: VAYAVO’U VENEI YISRAEL BETOCH HAYAM BAYABASHA, “The Children of Israel came within the sea on dry land…” (Ex. 14,22)

A few verses later we read: UVENEI YISRAEL HALCHU VAYABASHA BETOCH HAYAM, “The Children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea…”. (Ex. 14,29) In the first verse quoted we read first they went into the sea and then it mentions on dry land. In the second verse the sequence is reversed. First it says on dry land and then it mentions the sea.

The Kli Yakar, a very noted commentary of the Torah explains. The first verse refers to a limited group that first plunged into the sea. There was no dry land for them at that time. After their bold action Hashem parted the sea and the dry land was seen. Then the rest of the Bnei Yisrael marched in.

The first people were the doers. The ones who lead the way; the courageous ones. Then the others followed. They came when they knew it was safe.


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