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January 27, 2024: Parashah Torah Portion Beshalach

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Beshalach is taken from Exodus 13:17-17:16. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he reveals the two main worlds that we are part of, through this Parashah, and how we have two layers: Our sea and our land!


Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Parashah Torah Portion:

Parashah Torah Portion Beshalach "When he sent". Exodus 13:17-17:16

Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Beshalach - Exodus 13:17-17:16:


As we look into this Parashah, we see passion revealed at the Red Sea.  As we look at Ex. 13:17 it says, “Elohim did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, which was close by, because Elohim said, “The people might reconsider when they see war and return to Egypt.”  This biblical story is meant to provide us a lesson for our personal lives.  We inhabit two worlds.  One world is a revealed portion of our existence; our professional, social, family lives, and conscious thoughts and feelings.  The other world is hidden, subconscious drives and desires (passions) ; innately known truths and deeply held convictions rarely seen.

 

The earth is comprised of oceans and continents, sea and land.  The difference between the two is on dry land: all is open and visible.  The trees, animals, mountains, and people are all easily recognizable.  The other one is the sea; the big blue expanse of mystery where things are submerged, hidden and you might catch a glimpse of what transpires close to the surface; of what lurks in its depth but we see nothing at all.  Though the sea is teeming with life, when you look at it you can identify nothing…all is hidden beneath the surface.

 

So, it is with us…we have two layers:  Our sea and our land!  Our land is what we know of ourselves, our visible strength, our tested talents, and our known abilities.  The elements of our character that we are aware of.  These are the “dry land” of our personality.  However, below the surface of our character lies a vast sea of latent talents, inner strengths, untapped abilities that we never knew we had!  How can we access this reservoir of potential?  How can our sea become dry land?

 

In the words of the Psalmist in Ps. 66:5-20, particularly verse 5 and 6 that says, “Come and see what Elohim has done, His awesome dealings with humankind.  He turned the sea into dry land.  They passed through the river on foot; there we rejoiced in Him.”  What is ordinarily submerged and inaccessible became manifest and tactual.

 

The Israelites had their back to the wall, and the Egyptians were closing in on one side and the raging sea threatening on the other.  They had two options:  Despair or faith!  Logic and reason demanded that they give in!  There was no possible way out of their predicament but faith demanded that they keep marching to the Promised Land (Ex. 14:15-16).  Sea or no sea, this is the path on which Elohim has led us, so we have to have faith and march on…and so they did!

 

It was at that moment, when hopelessness was countered by faith that the impossible happened and the sea opened up to become dry land.  Pure passion brought deliverance!  The most formidable obstacle dissolved into nothingness…without a struggle and just with faith!

 

Elohim empowered them when they became empowered as they acknowledged Elohim as the only true power!  As they surrender themselves to Elohim, they discovered the force with them.  They split their own sea (Ex. 14:15,16, 21,22).

 

What good would the splitting of the Red Sea do if they were not able to cross to the other side and escape Pharaoh’s pursuing armies?  Elohim loves us and He made their (our) path as dry and firm as land that has never been covered by water.

 

We have a constant struggle with the contradiction between sea and land…what is open and what is hidden!  None of us are strangers to times of challenge.  We need to learn how to face challenges.  So, Elohim took them on a detour to the sea and opened it up for them when they believed Him!  He takes us on a detour to the seas of our lives…testing our passion!  Elohim needed them to understand and pursue pure passion (Godly).  To understand their Elohim, they needed to be challenged and their sea to be parted and revealed.

 

People say all the time: follow your passion; pursue your passion; be true to your passion but is passion always positive and constructive?  Passion that is undisciplined and selfish usually causes us to implode!  Passion is a double-edged sword and it can be the energy that catapults us to freedom from sleepwalking through life or it can be the powerful force, the gravitational pull, which keeps us in a self-destructive cycle.

 

In Chassidic terms, we call the latter form of passion (self-destructive one) a conceptual “Egypt.”  The Hebrew word for Egypt is “mitzrayim” closely related to and contains the exact same letters as the word for “constraints or constriction.”  So, this Exodus narrative isn’t just a historical account but an ongoing personal saga, the story of our individual struggles to rise above the constraints in our lives, to allow the land and sea to be revealed in our lives!  It is our opportunity for pure passion to unleash great miracles!

 

If we want to be free; we need to define what dimensions in life are keeping us down.  The first place we should examine is our passions!  Ask yourself…What animates me? What perks me up and gets my blood pumping? What thoughts come to mind when nothing else is taking up my brain space? What is in my sea that no one can see?  What is hidden from sight?  Where do I find passion?  What do I do on auto-pilot?  Self-analysis can be revealing!  Instinctively, self-gratification is what grabs our passion and left unchecked that’s where our passion will inevitably lead.

 

“Leaving Egypt” means proactively taking the reins of our passions and guiding them to a productive, meaning-centered place which means it will lead you to a Red Sea experience…where that which is hidden must be revealed!  Where faith and doubt are challenged and where pure passion is revealed!  So, if we want to weaken our personal Pharaoh’s grip, if we really want to leave our Egypt, we need to watch our passions!  We need to document them for ourselves.  We need to measure them against what’s truly important in life!

 

Every journey will have obstacles!  Obstacles are not interruptions to the journey…THEY ARE THE JOURNEY!  Keep marching towards the Promised Land.  Every challenge along the way will give you deeper insight and renewed power!  Just have faith!  It will split your sea!  Our inner Moses awaits!

 

Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,

 

Join us every Wednesday at 7 pm for Bible study and every Saturday at 11 am for Sabbath service at:

 

Lion of Judah Ministries

612 North Main St

Blackstone, VA.


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Enjoy your journey!  Let the power of Elohim reign in your life.  Remember His Sabbath day and gather together to worship our King!  Calling all watchmen…it is time to arise and sound the alarm!  Prepare the way of Adonai!  Let shalom rule and reign in your life today!  See you at the altar!

 

Shalom Aleichem


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