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Look Up to the Heavens, Not Down at the Mud

צילום: יואל וקסברגר

Something shocking happened during the splitting of the Red Sea. On the holiday that begins tonight, the 7th day of Pesach, we celebrate the fact that the sea was split and that the Children of Israel passed through the sea on dry land. But our Sages tell us that during that walk through the sea, at the height of that moving and historic event, a conversation took place between two Jews who complained about all the mess, water, and sand all around them. And those two Jews said to one other: What's the difference between the Red Sea and Egypt?! "When the Israelites went down to the Red Sea it was full of mud, and Reuven said to Shimon: In Egypt there's mud, in the sea there's mud! In Egypt there were clay and bricks, and in the sea there's clay and lots of water." What's the difference?
This is a dangerous way to live. A person can walk through the middle of the Red Sea and be present at the Exodus from Egypt, and still not notice the many miracles that are taking place, unaware that they have left behind slavery for freedom, because they are so busy comparing and complaining.
Our commentators call upon us to take heed of this phenomenon, and not to be like those Israelites who complained at the height of the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea. Not to look for only the bitter and the bad, and not to confuse, Heaven forbid, moments of joy and redemption in our lives with moments of slavery. To be grateful, to acknowledge goodness with goodness, and to be aware of the abundance of blessings in our lives. Let's try not to miss our own Exodus.
Happy holiday!

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