Friday, January 21, 2005

Parshat Beshalach

This Shabbos is known as Shabbat Shirah because we read Parshat Beshalach--the Torah parsha that includes Shirat haYam (the song we sang after the splitting of the Red Sea). Shirat HaYam starts out with “Az yashir Moshe” and is read everyday as part of the morning prayer, Shacharit.

In this week’s Parsha, Moshe tells Bnei Yisrael that HaShem would give them a double portion of ma’an on Fridays so that they wouldn’t have to do labor intensive work gathering the ma’an on Shabbat. The midrash says that Datan and Aviram, two troublemakers (!), took extra ma’an on Friday and scattered it around on Shabbat so that when the Jews would leave their tents, they would see that ma’an had fallen on Shabbat. During the night, before the Jews woke, the birds pecked away at the ma’an and in the morning of Shabbat there was nothing left.
To show our appreciation to the birds, it is customary to scatter breadcrumbs outdoors for them.

Just as a note: This week we celebrate Tu B'Shvat, "Rosh HaShana" for the trees. Between understanding that all in nature deserves respect (the birds--this shabbat) and appreciation (the trees), we can hopefully develop a clearer understanding that all things big, small, human, non-human, male, female, Jewish, or not Jewish are worthy of dignity and respect.

Shabbat Shalom!

1 Shpeils


Blogger HasidicG said...

Thank you for that beautiful Dvrei Torah! Shabbat Shalom!

Friday, January 21, 2005 5:28:00 PM  

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