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Adam Shandling - Dvar Torah

My Torah portion covers the Book of Exodus 13:17–17:16. It is a powerful story that is central to our Jewish identity. G-d promised to take the Israelites out of bondage and slavery in Egypt and deliver them safely to the land of Canaan On various occasions the Israelites felt that G-d had abandoned them but ultimately G-d always kept his promise.

By following G-d’s word and instructions the Israelites were protected from the ten plagues.

When the Israelites were banished from Egypt they needed to show great faith in G-d. Moses parted the sea and gave them safe passage before drowning Pharaoh’s armies.

When the Israelites reached Marah they again began to lose faith when they could not drink the bitter water but Moses was able to make the water sweet and drinkable.

For G-d this was a two way street. In return for freeing the Israelites from bondage he expected them to lead a righteous lifestyle… to listen to his commandments and follow his laws.

The modern world we live in is very different from the time of Moses.

In today’s modern world we cannot simply have blind faith that God will solve all our problems. We need to have balanced faith.

If you want to live a healthy and fit lifestyle you cannot just go to shul twice a week and pray every day that this will happen. To achieve your goal God would expect you to eat healthy and exercise often. G-d helps those who help themselves.

There is lots going on in the world today.. war in Ukraine… continuous load-shedding here in South Africa… such things can seriously test our faith in G-d.

The main point I have taken from my Torah portion is that no matter how difficult life becomes it is important to always keep my faith in G-d.. to try always follow G-d’s commandments.. try do a Mitzvah as often as possible… knowing that G-d will ultimately come through for me as he did for the Israelites in Egypt


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