Parshat Beshalach

Parshat Beshalach

In his famous work of mussar, Mesilat Yisharim, the Ramchal expounds upon one of the numerous techniques the yetzer hara uses to entice people to sin and rebel against their Creator. By overburdening our minds and hearts with the tasks of daily life, the yetzer hara relentlessly works until we are left with no second of spare time to think about properly serving Hashem.

Over the past few parshiot in Sefer Shemot, we have read how Pharaoh continuously increased the quantity and intensity of Bnei Yisrael’s forced labor in Mitzrayim. In parshat Shemot, Rashi explains that Pharaoh began increasing the workload of Bnei Yisrael so that they would not have the luxury of free time. Pharaoh was afraid that Bnei Yisrael would use that time to reflect on the situation they were in and consider rebellion or discover a means of escape. For this exact reason, the generation of Yirmiyahu saw the destruction of Bais Rishon. They followed a path of sin blindly, without questioning or reflecting on their actions.

Today, we too must break free from the control Pharaoh still has over us. We cannot continue to call ourselves “ovdei Hashem” unless we constantly take time to think if our actions are in line with Hashem’s Will. In addition, we must change if we find contradictions within our lives. By beating our inner yetzer hara, and connecting our physical actions to the spiritual desires of our neshama, we should be zocheh to see the coming of Mashiach, and the final rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash, speedily in our days.

Student Studying in Mevaseret