Back to Archives


Weekly Parsha Summary

Soon after allowing the children of Israel to depart from Egypt, Pharaoh chases after them to force their return, and the Israelites find themselves trapped between Pharaoh’s armies and the sea. Hashem tells Moshe to raise his staff over the water; the sea splits to allow the Israelites to pass through, and then closes over the pursuing Egyptians. Moshe and the children of Israel sing a song of praise and gratitude to Hashem.

In the desert the people suffer thirst and hunger, and repeatedly complain to Moshe and Aaron. Hashem miraculously sweetens the bitter waters of Marah, and later has Moshe bring forth water from a rock by striking it with his staff. He causes manna to rain down from the heavens before dawn each morning, and quails to appear in the Israelite camp each evening.

The children of Israel are instructed to gather a double portion of manna on Friday, as none will descend on Shabbas, the divinely decreed day of rest. Some disobey and go to gather manna on the seventh day, but find nothing. Aaron preserves a small quantity of manna in a jar, as a testimony for future generations.

In Refidim, the people are attacked by the Amalekites, who are defeated by Moshe’s prayers and an army raised by Yehoshua.

Rabbi's Shabbos Message

Be Positive !

"And the children of Israel came to Marah and they were not able to drink the water at Marah for they were bitter" (Shemos 15:23)

The Kotzker Rebbe explained "for they were bitter" is referring to the people themselves. When someone is bitter, everything he has tastes bitter.

A great educator once said, "When a student studies well, the teachers are wise, the other students are friendly, his room is comfortable, and even the food tastes good. When someone is not studying well, the teachers have many faults, the other students are unfriendly, his room is uncomfortable, and even the food tastes bad.

Our general mood and outlook on life has a far reaching effect. Every aspect of a person's life can switch from negative to positive just by changing around his view of the world. A person who is positive will see only the positive in people and events, while the opposite is true as well.

Rav Yechezkel Abramsky explained the statement of Rebbe Chanina, "Torah scholars increase peace in the word". Peace is the opposite of anger and resentment. A true Torah scholar is more satisfied with his page of Gemara than a person with a billion dollars. Because he is so full of pleasure and satisfaction from his studies, he does not become frustrated over mundane matters. Everything else is inconsequential, and THIS increases peace in the world.

Have a great Shabbos !