Sunday, April 08, 2007

Last Days of Pesach 5631 Second Ma'amar

On the seventh day of Pesach the nation of Israel crossed the Red Sea and sang Shiras HaYam/The Song of the Sea. The Shirah starts with, “אשירה לה' כי גאֹה גאה/I will sing to God for He is most exalted.” The double wording “גאֹה גאה/He is most exalted” implies that He is the epitome of exaltedness, of greatness. To say that the difference between God’s exaltedness and that of others is simply a matter of degree is difficult. Instead, the Sfas Emes explains that the double wording teaches us something about the relationship of the greatness of others to God. It implies that the greatness of all others are only for His glory whereas God’s glory is inherent. It has no ulterior reason. How so?

We find in Mishlei, “לפני שבר גאון/Pride precedes destruction.” The greatness of the wicked glorifies God in their destruction. The greater they are, the greater God’s honor when they are destroyed. The greatness of the righteous glorifies God as well when the righteous even in greatness subordinates himself to God and recognizes His benevolence. The greater the righteous the more he glorifies God when he acknowledges God’s kindnesses. We see that the greatness of others is for the glory of God.

According to this we can understand why we find in the Shirah, “אמר אויב ארדוף אשיג .../The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will reach …” Why is this part of the Shirah? Do we care to know the intentions of the enemy? Is not the purpose of the Shirah to sing praises to God for having saved us? The Sfas Emes explains that this is exactly the reason that the enemy’s intentions are mentioned. The more impertinent the enemy the greater God’s glory when he is destroyed. The enemy’s intentions are followed directly with God’s action to destroy him, “נשפת ברוחך כסמו ים .../You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them …” The enemy’s impudence helped cause his own destruction.


Anonymous said...

Hey, what happned to your widget?

Moshe David Tokayer said...

Sorry. Must of been in a rush and forgot to put it in. Did so now.