Parshas Beshalach



1a) What’s the deep meaning behind the ענין of Shira and Shabbos Shira, and the whole ענין of שירת הים[1]?

2) When Klal Yisroel went out of Mitzrayim, the pasuk (שמות יג' כב') says "לא ימיש עמוד הענן יומם ועמוד האש לילה לפני העם", and Rashi there says that the עמוד הענן and the עמוד האש we’re משלים eachother, meaning that only when they met eachother the other one left. The question arises that we know Hashem can make things happen at exact moments, so why couldn’t Hashem make the עמוד הענן disappear a moment before the עמוד האש comes, why did he make it that they specifically had to meet eachother?

3) By קריאת ים סוף we find that one pasuk (שמות יד' כב') says "ויבאו בני ישראל בתוך הים ביבשה", and another pasuk (שמות יד' כט') says "ובני ישראל הלכו ביבשה בתוך הים". So this is a סתירה because once the ים split it wasn’t ים anymore it was יבשה, and the pasuk should really say ויבאו בני ישראל ביבשה because they weren’t in the ים anymore? Also why did he have to be this way that while they were בתוך הים they were also ביבשה?

4) We find by the end of קריאת ים סוף that the pasuk (שמות יד' כז') says "וישב הים לפנות בקר לאיתנו", that the ים went back to being a ים and the Mitzrim went straight into it. Rashi there says "לאיתנו - לתקפו הראשון", but  the מדרש says[2] that לאיתנו  is from the לשון of a תנאי, that Hashem made a תנאי with מעשה בראשית that the ים should split, and by קריאת ים סוף the ים went back to its תנאי. The אור החיים הקדוש asks that this pasuk is really speaking about after קריאת ים סוף when the ים went returned back to being ים, and that wasn’t part of the original תנאי. The תנאי was that the ים should split, and the fact that the ים returned to its original state was just a natural effect after the נס finished. So why is this לשון of  לאיתנו, referring to the תנאי with מעשה בראשית, specifically in this pasuk after קריאת ים סוף, it should’ve been in the pasuk beforehand when the ים actually split? 

4b) The אור החיים הקדוש also asks that the Gemara in חולין (ז.) brings down that רבי פנחס בן יאיר also split a ים. But if splitting the ים was a specific תנאי with מעשה בראשית, so how could it be that רבי פנחס בן יאיר also made such a נס?

5) By the שורת הים we find the pasukim are mainly in the future tense, like it says אז ישיר, and also in the end it says "ה' ימלוך לעולם ועד". Why is this so that the whole שורה is in the future tense? Also the Rashi on אז ישיר says that מכאן רמז לתחיאת המתים מן התורה, but how do we exactly see this in the pasukim over here?

5b) Also, towards the end of the Shira we speak about the Beis Hamikdash like it says (שמות יג' כא') " מקדש ה' כוננו ידיך". What exactly is the connection between the Beis Hamikdash and the Shira over here?

6) After the Parsha of Krias Yam Suf we find the parsha of the מן. What is the deep meaning behind the מן, and why is it specifically in this week’s Parsha? We know it was called מן because "כי לא ידע מה הוא", and we also know that it had no specific taste and it tasted whatever you want it to tastes like. But why couldn’t Hashem just send down normal food? Also, the pasuk says "הנני ממטיר לכם לחם מן השמים", so we see the מן is called Bread, so why didn’t nice fresh Challos come down?

7) Lastly, we find in the end of the Parsha מלחמת עמלק. What’s the connection between Amalek and the topics of this week’s Parsha of the Shira and Krias Yam Suf and the מן?

So mainly we must understand the connection between all the different topics in this week’s Parsha of Krias Yam Suf, the מן, and Amalek?


To understand why the תנאי of the Yam Suf was hinted only when the Yam returned to its original state, we must first understand why at all was it necessary for there to be a תנאי by this נס of Krias Yam Suf, unlike by other ניסים where we don’t find there to be a תנאי for the miracle to be done.

מעשה בראשית and after מעשה בראשית

The Yesod is that there’s two separate time periods of the creation: There is before מעשה בראשית and there’s after מעשה בראשית. מעשה בראשית was when Hashem originally created the world, and nothing had yet congealed right away. Only after everything was created and מעשה בראשית was finished did the whole creation get its strength and nature. However, during מעשה בראשית and the midst of the six days of creation, nothing had its actual טבע yet, sort of like clay, where it’s flexible and you can do what you want with it. Only when מעשה בראשית was finished and Shabbos came- then "בא שבת בא מנוחה" and everything started to function properly with their full strength and טבע[3]. The fire became Hot, and the water became cold, etc.. and each נברא had a תוקף  of its טבע. This is the difference between מעשה בראשית and after מעשה בראשית[4].

Two types of ניסים (Miracles)

Just like there’s two separate time period in creation, there’s also two different types of ניסים (Miracles) which are done. The standard נס which happens is where you have the world’s nature and the נס breaks the nature causing a miracle to occur. With this type of נס, Hashem shows that even though there’s טבע, He has the strength to go against the nature and break it.

However, there’s another type of נס which occurs in a totally different fashion, which is מושרש in מעשה בראשית. This type of נס gets its כח from the beginning of creation, where there was no real טבע yet. In this way, these ניסים don’t actual break the nature but they rather go a state where there was no nature, when things were like clay and flexible. Let us explain even more:

רבי חנינא בן דוסא and חוני המאגל

We find in the Gemara (תענית דף כה.) that Rebbi Chanina Ben Dosa told his daughter "מי שאמר לשמן וידלוק הוא יאמר לחומץ וידלוק". He wasn’t saying that Hashem can break the nature and light the vinegar, but rather he was saying that by Hashem  there’s no difference between the oil and the vinegar, they are both the same[5]. Rebbi Chanina Ben Dosa had this כח to make a נס not by breaking the nature, but rather by causing a miracle which is ממשיך from the state of מעשה בראשית, where things were flexible, being able to make even vinegar flammable.

Also we find by חוני המאגל this very same כח of making miracles. The Gemara says that he stood in one place, making a circle around himself, asking for rain. He then continued telling Hashem that it wasn’t enough rain, asking at times for more and at time for less. He was playing around with the טבע, and causing a נס with this כח of מעשה בראשית, not by breaking and going against the טבע. We don’t see him davening extra hard for this miracle, it seems as it went easily for him. This is because it wasn’t a נס of fighting, but rather reaching the state of מעשה בראשית where he could play around with creation.

The difference between Krias Yam Suf and the other ניסים (Answer to Question #3)

This is precisely the difference between Krias Yam Suf and the Ten Makkos and the other ניסים in Mitzrayim[6].

We know that the pasuk says that פרעה believed in the שם אלקים but he was כופר in the שם הוי'. We know that אלקים is Gematria טבע, and אלקים refers to the Nature of Hashem. פרעה believed in the strength of the טבע, but the Ten Makkos Hashem showed him that His strength was much higher than the טבע. Hashem showed פרעה with the Ten Makkos that he can break the Nature and that He’s really above the strength of Nature.

However, Krias Yam Suf was a different type of נס entirely. It was that type of נס which we mentioned above which was ממשיך from מעשה בראשית. That is why specifically by this נס Hashem made a תנאי with מעשה בראשית, because this נס went back precisely to that state. To a point where there’s no תקיפות and strength in creation yet. You can be "בתוך הים" and also be "ביבשה". The ים and the יבשה can be played around with, and the ים can also be be ביבשה. This is what the pasuk is inferring to us, that Krias Yam Suf went back to this state and was coming from a point where things were like clay and you can do what you want with it. When you’re breaking the Nature, if you break the Yam and make it יבשה, so once it’s not ים anymore it’s only יבשה. But the נס of Krias Yam Suf was coming from a point of time where the ים and יבשה can be played around with existing at the same time[7].

Pinchas Ben Yair and the תנאי of Krias Yam Suf (Answers to Questions #4 and #4b)

We asked above how was it possible for Pinchas Ben Yair also to split the Yam if there must be a תנאי? The answer is that the נס he did wasn’t like the נס of Krias Yam Suf. Pinchas Ben Yair made a נס where he broke the טבע of the water and he caused it to split. For that type of נס you don’t need an תנאי, unlike the נס of Krias Yam Suf which was an entirely different type.

This is also why the word לאיתנו is at the end of Krias Yam Suf. Rashi says the Yam went back to its “Takvo Harishon”. Like we explained above, the Yam Suf wasn’t split with תקיפות and fighting, but rather connecting to מעשה בראשית. Therefore, only once the נס finished and the Yam Suf goes away from מעשה בראשית, then the Yam gets back its תקיפות and nature. Of course the actual תנאי was for the Yam to split, but the pasuk which is discussing איתנו, which means its strength, that only belongs after the נס finished, because the actual splitting wasn’t done with any תקיפות at all. The pasuk is saying that after the miracle was finished the Yam got back its תקיפות which means its Nature (because its תקיפות is that it shouldn’t be dry land, but rather water).

Learning Torah

We find this same concept when it comes to learning Torah. You can have a סתירה (a contradiction)  in Sugyos and they look like a huge clash. There can be two aporoaches to dealing with this difficulty. There can one type of Torah which answers up the contradiction by realizing the big clash between the topics, but there can be a way out of it. The answer doesn’t really remove the difficulty completely, but instead it gets around the problem בדוחק. However, there can be another type of Torah which answers up the contradiction with a whole different approach. By bringing out a certain Yesod it can totally resolve the issue, hard to believe that there was a difficulty in the first place. The clash suddenly disappears completely.

"אסתכל באורייתא וברא עלמא"- Hashem looked into the Torah when he created the world. We can learn from this that there can be two types of learning Torah similar to the two types of Nissin which we brought above. Some people are zoche to be ממשיך the Torah from the Reishis and they don’t fight to resolve the Torah at all. Others, who are not on this high level work very hard to find solutions, may times resulting with the clashes remaining.

We find by the Ragachuver זצ"ל that his whole Torah was like clay to him. He מןy times would say עיין this and עיין this, asking מןy contradictions, but easily resolving them afterwards by connecting מןy Sugyos together, bringing out a Yesod and a certain clarity which put everything back together.

If one is ממשיך the Torah from the מקור of Torah, so the מקור of Torah is that the whole Torah is מקשה אחת. We find by the Menorah, which was מרמז on Torah, that it was מקשה אחת. If one learns Torah on this level of מקשה אחת, it can bring to amazing clarity and simcha to one’s life. The Talmidei Chachomim in Bavel were more like fighters, after a while resolving the difficulties they had. However the Talmidei Chachomim in Eretz Yisroel acted more in a calm manner, answering things in a מקשה אחת level. These two level in Torah correspond to the two Levels of the creation like explained above.

עמוד הענן & עמוד האש (Answer to Question #2)

According to what we’re saying this is how the עמוד הענן & עמוד האש could be together, because at this time of  מעשה בראשית the day and the night aren’t a סתירה to one another. Only after Hashem said "ויבדל" was the אור דוחה החושך. So specifically by this נס of the Kiras Yam Suf they came together to bring out this נקודה, that just like the ים & the יבשה aren’t a סתירה, so too the day and night aren’t a סתירה.

A Deeper Meaning behind the מן (Answer to Question #6)

This also explains the מן. Chazal say "לא נינה תורה אלא לאוכלי המן". Like explained above, by מעשה בראשית not had its identification yet. This is exactly what the מן was about, having no identification at all tasting whatever  you wanted it to taste like. The מן was also coming from this same מקור where nothing is identified yet[8].

It’s an אכילה which doesn’t come into טבע, therefore it has no תקיפות either way and it can taste like whatever you want. The מן was a המשכה from that מקור which Klal Yisroel was just privileged to right beforehand by Krias Yam Suf. That מקור is a state where nothing is identified yet and there’s no טבע yet and things can be played around with.

This is the greatness of the מן. It wasn’t a natural food and it was a food which wasn’t identified. Klal Yisroel, during Krias Yam Suf, belonged to that part of מעשה בראשית where טבע wasn’t identified yet, therefore they ate food which also had no specific taste or identification.

The כח of Torah

This is all a preparation for Kabalas Hatorah. This state which they reached by Krias Yam Suf was really the way they were supposed to remain and continue, as it says "בראשית- בשביל ישראל שנקרא ראשית". Klal Yisroel belongs in that ראשית, that מקור right in the beginning, and that’s really where they were supposed to remain[9]. This isממש  the כח of Torah. Torah is something which one can learn a hundred times, and everytime you can taste a new Torah. Like Rashi and the מפרשים say on Shir Hashirim that a child who nurses can taste every time a different taste, so too the Torah is compared to a child who is nursing. One can learn the same Mesechta and each time you can come out with new Chiddushim even after learning the same thing over many times.

This כח of Torah comes about because Torah is נמשך from a place where everything is still בהתחדשות, therefore everything by Torah is still new to him. The definition of טבע is that it’s nature and it’s not going to change. However, if one comes from the state before there was טבע so it’s always חידוש. טבע means there’s no חידוש anymore and that’s it, unlike the כח from before the טבע which is כולו חידוש. So the real כח of Torah is learning on that level where there’s no טבע yet and everything is כולו בהתחדשות.

Therefore this Parsha of Beshalach is the preparation for מעמד הר סיני and receiving the Torah. This Parsha is taking Klal Yisroel to that place and מקור from before the טבע where everything is בהתחדשות. Like it says "בראשית- בשביל ישראל שנקרא ראשית, ובשביל התורה שנקרא ראשית".

The Beis Hamikdash (Answer to Question #5b)

Chazal also add a third thing which is called "ראשית", and that is the Mitzvah of Bikurim ("בראשית- בשביל ביכורים שנקרא ראשית) which is brought to the Beis Hamikdash. The Beis Hamikdash was a place where there were constant ניסים, like it says עשרה ניסים נעשה לאבותינו. However, one may ask, how is it possible to have a נס which is constant, that seems to be a contradiction, because how is it possible to be in a state where it’s always a miracle? This is what the Beis Hamikdash represented, it was a place where טבע doesn’t exist. One shouldn’t think that in the Beis Hamikdash Hashem was breaking the טבע over and over, but rather it was ממשיך from a place which is constantly בהתחדשות, and that is from the period of מעשה בראשית.

Like we explained above, this was also exactly what Klal Yisroel saw and experienced by Krias Yam Suf. Now we can understand the connection between the Beis Hamikdash and Krias Yam Suf, and that is why we say in the end of the Shira "מקדש ה' כוננו ידיך". The Yidin were being מרמז to the Beis Hamikdash because it was just like the miracle of Krias Yam Suf. The Beis Hamikdash was a place where the נס was always constant, being ממשיך from the same מקור where the נס of Krias Yam Suf came from.

Torah and the Beis Hamikdash

This is the same כח which Torah has. Torah, which is learnt properly, never becomes טבע. Only when the Sugya is learnt in a טבע-dika manner does it stand בתקיפות and firm against the other Sugya. However, if one learns Torah properly and is ממשיך from the התחדשות of Torah, so there’s no טבע and there’s no תוקף between the Sugya’s.

This is also why the Sanhedrin were located inside the Beis Hamikdash, because Chazal say that "כל הדן דין אמת לאמיתו נעשה שותף להקב"ה במעשה בראשית". So that’s why they were in the Beis Hamikdash, because it was a place of מעשה בראשית, like it was that the world was created from the אבן שתיה which was located in the קדש הקדשים. The ארון, which held the Torah (the Luchos) was also located in the קדש הקדשים on top of the אבן השתיה, because the אבן השתיה is the התחדשות הבריאה.

This אבן השתיה was always there, because there’s always a התחדשות הבריאה. That מקור of there always being a התחדשות הבריאה before there’s טבע in the creation is also the מקור of the Torah and the Luchos. They’re both always there and there’s always a new  התחדשות. This was the place of the Beis Hamikdash, and the Sanhedrin, and of the Torah. The first exposure to this whole idea was by Krias Yam Suf, so that’s why we mention "מקדש ה' כוננו ידיך", and it’s all a preparation for מעמד הר סיני.

The Essence of Shira (Answers to Questions #5 & #1)

Now we can understand the essence of Shira and why the whole Shira is in future tense. This is because one day, with Hashem’s help, we’ll be זוכה to the אחרית הימים and go back to that תקופה. This תקופה of the אחרית הימים will be a תקופה where there’s no טבע. This is why we say in Kabalas Shabbos "שירו לה' שיר חדש". R’ Tzadok זצ"ל writes that when Moshiach comes in the אחרית הימים, every moment there will be a new התחדשות and a new Shira, a שיר חדש. The התחדשות will be נתחדש the wholetime without stop, and every moment there will be a new התחדשות.

This is the meaning of how אז ישיר is a רמז לתחיית המתים מן התורה, because this is exactly the same type of time period. The Beis Hamikdash was just a replica and a small model of the world in the אחרית הימים, and if there wouldn’t have beem a Churban then it would’ve expanded and that would’ve become the world. But לעתיד לבוא in the אחרית הימים, the whole creation will be one big Beis Hamikdash and a בחינה of שירו לה' שיר חדש. So Shira and אז ישיר are a רמז לתחיית המתים מן התורה.

Shira always comes from the בחינה of התחדשות, which originally came from בראשית. The Zohar says that "בראשית" stands for "תאב שיר", meaning to say that when a person sings Shira he reaches his innermost connection and he feels the חיות אלוקי which is keeping him alive the whole time.

This is why you sing Shira by תחיית המתים. We find that Dovid Hamelech experienced the fear of death constantly, like it says "החייתי מיורדי בור" and "משאול נפשי. Even more so, Dovid Hamelech wasn’t even supposed to live at all and he got all of his years from אדם הראשון. He constantly felt a new התחדשת החיות and therefore he sang and compiled Sefer Tehilim. This is what Shira is about, it’s where you feel your חיות, and you can constantly

feel that התחדשת החיות which comes to a person every single moment[10].

This is why Parshas Beshalach is also called Shabbos Shira. When there’s a כח of התחדשות you sing Shira, because Shira is that situation of התחדשות. The main period of התחדשות will be by תחיית המתים, and that’s the בחינה of אז ישיר. This is the Yesod of the Shira and of אז ישיר, and the connection to the מן in this week’s Parsha.

Amalek- A Different type of Enemy (Answer to Question #7)

In the end of the Parsha we find the topic of Amalek, and we find elsewhere that the pasuk referes to Amalek as "ראשית גוים עמלק". The difference between Amalek and all the other nations is that Amalek goes against the Yidin with the בחינה of התחדשות [11]. Amalek is the ראשית גוים, he doesn’t take on טבע and he says he’s also in state of before the טבע- he’s a ראשית-dika enemy. We see that Eisav was born as the בכור, which is known as the ראשית, therefore Amalek and Eisav have some sort of אחיזה in the ראשית [12]. Therefore Amalek and Eisav’s whole stradegy against us is with this כח of the ראשית.

Therefore, when it’s נתברר and it becomes clear in this week’s Parsha, by Krias Yam Suf, that only Klal Yisroel are the real ראשית ("בשביל ישראל שנקרא ראשית"), then they were זוכה to מחיית עמלק.


[1] We also find that the Torah itself is called שירה, like we find in דברים (לא' יט') the pasuk says "ועתה כתבו לכם את השירה הזאת". But why is it that the Torah is called specifically שירה, what is the uniqueness of שירה?

[2] בראשית רבה ה' ה'

[3] The Menucha of Shabbos was that "כל מלאכתך עשויה", meaning that the creation was finished and only then ready to go and be functionable.

[4] We actually find this difference even between the first day of creation and the rest of מעשה בראשית. Rashi (right in the beginning of the Torah) says "וירא אלקים כי טוב", the אור and חושך were בערבוביא, they were mixed together. But if one thinks about it, how can that be exactly, because either its light or its dark, it can’t be light and dark at the same time? The answer is like we explained above, that the first day of creation was still at a stage where the creation didn’t have their תוקף yet. Like we said above, like clay, where it’s flexible and you can do what you want with it. So that’s how it was able to be light and dark at the same time.

[5]מי שאמר  goes back to the עשר מאמרות

[6] This is also why Krias Yam Suf is in a whole different Parsha, because it’s a whole new מעמד ומציב.

[7] We find in the last perek of Yeshaya (פרק סג') that Yeshaya Hanavi compares Krias Yam Suf to a horse galloping in a dessert, where it’s dry and he can go very fast. The Radak explains that what the pasuk in coming to say is that don’t think that when the Yam Suf split there were some puddles in the middle and it was slippery. The land was completely dry like a dessert. If one thinks about this it’s a little strange, because let’s say there happened to be a puddle, would that really take away from the amazing miracle which Hashem did by splitting an enormous body of water like the Yam Suf? The answer is that according to what we’re saying above Yeshaya Hanavi is bringing out a very deep point. The fact that the Yam Suf was completey dry shows that this miracle of Krias Yam Suf wasn’t one which was fighting the nature. If it was fighting the טבע, so possible there might have been a puddle or two, but here this miracle was taken from a point in time where the miracle wasn’t a fight. It was completely bone dry, but still it was "בתוך הים".

[8] This is also what Chazal means when they say "ראתה שפחה על הים מה שלא ראה יחזקאל בן בוזי", because they saw by the Yam Suf all the Sodos of מעשה בראשית. Yechezkel saw the מעשה מרכבה, but the deep Sodos of מעשה בראשית, the origins of the whole creation (which the Mishnah in Chagigah says we shouldn’t even speak about)- this is what they saw by the Yam Suf, they saw מעשה בראשית. על פי קבלה the ים is the עלמא דאיתכסיא, and the Sefarim Hakedoshim say that טבע covers over things, just like the שם אלקם (which is Gematria הטבע) is a מסתיר (like the pasuk says "כי שמש ומגן ה' אלקים"- that Elokim is the נרתיק around the שם הוי', like there’s a נרתיק around the שמש). Therefore, when the ים opened up by Krias Yam Suf, it brought them to a state where there was no טבע yet and they saw the creation the way it was before טבע. This was the very high level which was revealed to Klal Yisroel by Krias Yam Suf.

[9] We actually find by the מן that there were different levels of the people, just like there’s a difference among the Tzadikim how they make miracles. We also find that by the real רשעים they had to work and be טוחן at the מן, because it became a natural type food towards them. Those רשעים were living at a level after טבע, therefore they had to work hard at it.

[10] This is also what Shabbos is about, because Shabbos is מעין עולם הבא, so therefore we sing שירות ותשבחות. On Shabbos we feel the התחדשת החיות every single moment like it’ll be לעתיד לבוא. There’s no טבע on Shabbos and everything is constantly a חידוש. That’s why we say on Friday night we say "שירו לה' שיר חדש", because we’re in the world of התחדשות.

[11] The pasuk in the end of פרשת כי תצא says "והיה בהניח ה' אלקיך לך מכל אוביך"- when you finish conquering all the other nations, only then "תמחה את זכר עמלק". Rav Tzadok זצ"ל explains that each nation corresponds to a certain Middah. For example the nation "כנעני" represents "חסד" and תאוה, the nation "חיתי" represents "גבורה", "אמורי" is "תפארת". There’sז' אומות representing the ז' מידות, and the three other nation of קיני, קניזי, and קדמוני correspond to the ג' מוחין, altogether corresponding to the עשר ספירות. This is what is going to be נתברר when Moshiach comes. So the ז' אומות which we speak about when coming into Eretz Yisroel correspond to the ז' ששת ימי בראשית and theבחינה  of טבע. Only when we’re finished conquering all that, then we fight Amalek and the ראשית.

[12] We find that the whole הכשרה for Krias Yam Suf was מכת בכורות. Like we explained that the בכור is ראשית, and what happened was that whoever was שייך to the real ראשית stayed alive, but whoever was into טבע died.