Why the Sea Needed to Split – Torah Insights – Parshah – Chabad.org

Posted By on February 4, 2020

Looking at the ocean, all we see is water.

The ocean is full of life. It is home to creatures of allsizes and shapes. Yet this abundant and diverse world, submerged beneath thesurface, is hidden from our view. In fact, more than 95 percent of theunderwater realm remains unexplored.

It is for this reason that the Kabbalists use the sea as aThe spiritual worlds are full of spiritual lifemetaphor for the concealed worlds. The spiritual worlds are indeed full ofspiritual lifeangels, souls, energy, Divine lightyet they are concealed fromour eyes. Dry land, by contrast, is a metaphor for reality as we perceive it.If something is tangible enough to be grasped by our five senses, then it is inthe realm of dry land. If it is a spiritual reality that cannot be perceivedwith the naked eye, it is in the concealed world of the sea.

This explains the spiritual significance of the biblicalstory of the Splitting of the Sea. When the Children of Israel left Egypt, theywere pursued by Pharaoh and the Egyptians and were trapped at the Red Sea.Miraculously, the sea split before them, and they traveled on dry land in themidst of the sea. The Egyptians followed, and the waters of the sea camecrashing down upon them, drowning them.

One look at a map of the Middle East will show that theJewish people, who were en route from Egypt to Mount Sinai, had no businessbeing at the Red Seaits completely out of the way. In fact, the Jewish peopledid not cross the sea; rather, they emerged from the sea on the same side theyhad entered, effectively making a U-turn.

So what was the purpose of the Splitting of the Sea? Was itjust a way for Gd to drown the Egyptian army? Couldn't Gd have found aneasier way to punish the Egyptians?

The answer is that in order for the people to receive theTorah, they first needed to experience the Splitting of the Sea.

The sea represents that which is concealed. The searepresents the Divine energy within every created being. The sea represents thespark of holiness that is at the core of every creation.

When the sea split, when the waters were transformed intodry land, then the hidden core withinevery creation was revealed. As the sea split, all of the concealment of theworld was torn open, exposing the truth of the oneness of Gd. As the seasplit, each and every individual experienced a Divine revelation, to the extentthat the Talmud teaches that a maidservant at the sea was able to see what theprophet Ezekiel was unable to see.

When we received the Torah at Sinai, we were charged withthe mission to connect the physical and the spiritual, the mundane and the holy,the earthly and the Divine. But how is that even possible? They seem to bepolar opposites.

The Splitting of the Sea explains it all.

Before Gd could command the people to connect the physicaland the spiritual, they first had to experienced the Splitting of the Sea, thetearing open of the concealment. They had to understand that the hidden core ofall of creation is indeed the Creator. They had to realize that, in truth, thephysical is nothing more than concealed spirituality. Every creation craves tobe used as a vessel for a mitzvah, craves to be reunited with its Divinesource.

To split the sea in the world around us, we must first splitour own sea. We must first expose the hidden reality of our soul. And thenwell discover that the world around us is disguising a deeper truth, a truthwaiting to be revealed.

When the Torah tells the story of the Splitting of the Sea,The waters became protective wallsthe Torah emphasizes that the waters of the sea became protective walls for theJewish people. This is not just a physical description, but a metaphor for oursouls. As finite beings, we tend to see things in black and white. We oftendefine ourselves in terms of what we can do and cant do. We tell ourselvesthat there are certain things we are capable of doing, were good at, and werecomfortable striving for. Then are the things we believe to be beyond ourgrasp. The things that are inconsistent with our nature, ability andinclination. We have a long list of things, we tell ourselves, that we cannotaccomplish.

The Torah teaches us that as the sea split, as the hiddenworld came to light, the core of the soul was also unveiled. At that moment ofrevelation, the Jewish people realized that the soul defies definition. Theyrealized that they could express themselves in opposite ways; they could excelin contrasting fields. They could be introverts as well as extroverts, scholarsas well as people of action. Both the right side and the left side areprotective walls. A soul is not limited to a single form of expression. A soul cannotbe boxed into one model of achievement. As soon as we reveal our essence, thereis nothing that we cannot achieve.

The stories of the Torah are not merely stories about thepast; they are the stories of our lives. To achieve the purpose of our creation,we too must experience the three most fundamental events of Jewish history: theExodus, the Splitting of the Sea, and the Giving of the Torah.

Each and every day, we have the opportunity to escape ourEgypt. To escape the enslavement to our perceived limitations. Each and everyday, we receive the Torah at Sinai, empowering us to connect creation to itsCreator, to reveal the hidden core of the physical. To do so, however, we mustfirst reveal the inner core of our soul, we must split our own sea, reveal ourhidden truth, and discover that our essence is indeed limitless.

We must reveal the hidden spark of infinity within oursouls.

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Why the Sea Needed to Split - Torah Insights - Parshah - Chabad.org

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