Beshalach: Prayers Also Need Action

FINALLY, at the END of January, did we get our first major rainfall.  According to the government, before yesterday, we've received only around 30% of what we should have received by now.  And here, where most fruits and vegetables are local, you feel it throughout the year, with higher prices and lower quality.  My wife noticed that over the past few months how some people were calling the weather "beautiful" and "lovely", which disturbed her a little, since the Torah takes a different view of things, when it says in Shema, "And I will withold your rains...".  An interesting lesson.  Sometimes, what we take as beautiful, is really a curse...

Okay, on to more happy topics.

Rav Shimshon Pincus asks an interesting question.  One that I never heard before.

When the Jewish nation was at the sea and the Egyptian army was bearing down on them, Moshe began to daven to Hashem, and Hashem replies, "Why are you crying out to me?  Speak to the Children of Israel and tell them to go!"  Who is the first "to go"?  Nachshon ben Aminadav.  He walks into the sea and cries out "Deliver me Hashem, for the waters have reached my soul!" (the water had reached his nose).  At that point, the sea split.

So, the obvious, but obviously not so obvious, question is: When Moshe davened, he was told to stop davening and move.  When Nachshon davened, his prayers were answered.  What happened here?

The Zohar explains that when the nation was standing there, they needed a large amount of "chesed" from Hashem and at this point, prayer in itself, was not enough to save them.

To explain, and I'm guessing here, so I apologize if I'm wrong: it's similar to a person with no money in his bank account, begging the bank manager to loan him money to feed his family.  The bank manager feels bad for the man, but he has rules to follow.  He simply can't give the bank's money away to anybody, especially somebody who cannot keep a positive amount in.  At that point the person explains that he has already spent time learning and researching about a certain business venture, and he explains it in detail to the manager.  If he got the money from the bank, he can start the business and repay the bank in no time.  After hearing and seeing what the man proposes, he agrees to loan the money.

So, why did he at first not agree and then in the end agree?  Because he saw that the person was not just "a talker,"  he was a man of action and he just needed to boost, to put things into motion.

So to with this week's parsha.  When Moshe davened, davening wasn't enough.  The Jewish people needed to show some initiative, and to show that they were willing to follow Hashem.  When Nachshon jumped in, he showed that we were ready and we were willing.  We weren't just "talkers," but rather a nation that takes action.

There are many people who "talk the talk," but don't "walk the walk."  And when they are in leadership positions, whether in business, religious, or familial, they only succeed in distancing themselves from their "flock."  However, those who do "walk the walk" not only grow themselves, but they encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

It's very important for each individual to try to live up to the words that they espouse.  Not only do they prove to themselves that they are people of growth, but they also naturally bring others with them,

With that, I wish you all a wonderful Shabbos!