Roy Neuberger - Jan. 18, 2019

The power of this week’s Torah Portion challenges description. It is not simply what happened to our ancestors, but it reflects our situation today.


The sea was in front and Egypt was behind. The Children of Israel were in a state of panic. “Egypt pursued them, encamped by the sea – all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen and army …. Pharaoh approached. The Children of Israel raised their eyes, and behold! Egypt was journeying after them and they were very frightened. The children of Israel … said to Moses, ‘Were there no graves in Egypt?’” (Exodus 14:9ff)


They wanted to go back to Egypt!


My friends, if this does not describe our situation today, I do not know what does.


We are totally surrounded. There is no place to go.


Our enemies, inside and outside Israel, are every day strengthening themselves. “Like rivers [our enemies have] raised their voice. Like rivers they shall raise their destructiveness ….” (Psalm 93 with Artscroll Siddur commentary)


Every day we are losing more of our mighty towers of strength, our great rabbis.


Governments in countries that were once considered our friends are turning against us. They are trying to close down the yeshivos through which we pass on Torah to our future generations – in England, in Canada, in the United States! This is equivalent to trying to throw our babies into the Nile River, G-d forbid! They are trying to drown our children in the river of impurity!


Every day violence increases. War on a vast scale seems increasingly likely. I saw in a headline that Russia has developed a missile which is “impossible” to stop, a missile which flies so fast that it could cross the United States in a few minutes.


Moral standards which only a few years ago were accepted as normal, have completely crumbled and the world seems to be ruled by insane and violent people.


Indeed, we are today standing at the Red Sea. There is no safety! There is no peace! There is no security! There is no place to go!


This is the time to listen to the words of Moses!


“Do not fear! Stand fast and see the salvation of Hashem that He will perform for you today …. Hashem shall make war for you, and you shall remain silent!” (Exodus 14:13-14)


My friends, this is an amazing time in history. The Torah is guiding us toward the climax of history. Hashem is preparing us for Complete Redemption. This is the moment to hold on tightly to Hashem and His Torah and to unite among ourselves with love, to drop all animosity like a hot coal. The fate of the Children of Israel hinges on our love for each other. We are standing together on the shores of the Red Sea. The water is about to split, and soon we will cross. Our enemies will disappear. Yes, it will happen!


“And may those who devoured you be cast far off! Your G-d will rejoice over you like a groom rejoicing over his bride.” (Lecha Dodi)


Hashem will once again give us the Torah, this time to keep forever!


“Do not fear! Stand fast and see the salvation of Hashem!”


Recent Posts


self-worship Maccabeans Song of Songs Esau Tu b'Shvat heavenly gates Leah Jews Holy Ark Rabbis Angel of Death barley Master of the Universe New Moon Zion rain ethics David Rome siddur G-d spirituality Moab mikveh Zohar compassion Golus Tisha b'Av heavenly throne Blame angel Hagar blessing India Shechina Rashi Malbim plague Judah salvation Amalek prophet exile spiritual resurrection Rosh Hashanah Raiders of the Lost Ark commandment murder sun Temple Mount Haman Midrash Parsha judgement cries Rebbe Rebecca Holocaust moon Faith Hasmoneans Ten Commandments war Europe Moses pain prophet Samuel Laban esrog idol Benjamin Sukkos bris milah Israel evil fear redemption Torah Macabees prayer Ishamael Land of Israel Heavenly Mercy peace Exodus Tu b'Av earthquake repentance Edom Matriarchs slavery Garden of Eden rosh chodesh Chafetz Chaim danger Nation of Israel Boaz Ishmeal eternal Chanukah bible Babylonia Galil Passover Moshiach purity Jew Pharaoh Lunar eclipse Passover Seder Jewish Miraglim Moshe Jeremiah alone Earth prayers Maimonides Sodom kinneret Red Sea 2020 Vision sanctity meraglim Abrahem soul synagogue Judaism Shabbos King Solomon evil inclination Tzuk etan light Zion, Angel darkness patriarchs'matriarchs redeemer angels biblical Purim automobiles Greeks shield of Abraham Second Temple Mount Sinai heaven mitzvos United Nations Holy land Abraham Joseph Solar eclipse Divine presence eternity End of Days Prophecy Banias night world to come Mount Zion Samuel Yaakov Ishmael shmittah Rabbi Akiva Jewish holidays Baku Rosh Hashana three weeks Adam Aharon prophets Genesis prayer book Samuel the Prophet Ezekiel messiah Egypt chessed terrorism stars Creator Sarah terror gossip Torah scholars Magog Isaiah High Holy Days cholent incense Red Heifer God Zechariah Chanukkah Pinchas Isaac Talmud mikveh, Sabbath rabbi minyan leprosy shofar King of the Universe king Moshaich Chofetz Chaim tears fires King David Esther Tefillin Miriam Matisyahu tablets Babylon Dead Sea Elul Eve lights Psalm Ruth Terror Attack in Jerusalem repent water idolatry Jacob Amram menorah Sefiras haOmer locusts materialism persecution survival yarmulke enemies priests Jerusalem forefathers Judgement Day Balak mitzva Day of Judgement media Sukkah fault holiday yeshiva Solomon death Golden Calf matzos Children of Israel flood Canaan terrorist kosher Jewish festival Ammon Temple Beit Hamikdash deluge Shushan Sea of Galilee Teshuva Final redemption stones pray Achashveirosh Sabbath secret Geula keys Bais Hamikdosh logic kiddush Shavuos slaves trees Ashkenazi Hashem Torah portion missiles Mordechai Western World holy culture Noah Psalms hubris ancestors Repentence fragrance tabernacle miracles evolution Western Wall Eglon Yom Kippur patriarchs sacrifices Sephardi creation miracle Father in Heaven Lot Hebrew Rachel Chol haMoed Sages Mount Hermon Avraham Gog violence chaos tremors Bilaam song High Priest bird terrorists Golan brotherhood Jewish People paradise kesuba spies Protective edge Tallis America Day of Atonement Yerushalayim Holiness sin Holy Temple liberation dreams seder