Parshat Mishpatim – Bryant Ainhorn

Posted on January 26, 2014


Camera, Lights, and only then Action

So, a couple of weeks ago, in Parshat Beshalach, the Jewish people are finally on their way out of Egypt. The Jews have abandoned their life in Egypt, accepting to follow Moshe and accordingly G-d’s will. As they are camped out by the Sea and the Egyptians’ chariots are coming after the Jews, they complain to Moshe, crying out to their leader.

Despite having accepted to follow Moshe, and subsequently G-d’s Will, the Jews are in fear, an emotion that is perfectly logical and reasonable. They are being chased immediately after having escaped, so fear in far from abnormal for the Jews. All the more so, it is reasonable for the Jews to have cried out to Moshe.

Not knowing how to respond to the Jews’ complaints, Moshe does what he knows best; he turns to G-d. Him and the Jewish people are in a time of need, where their lives are clearly in jeopardy. To Moshe’s dismay, G-d respond to him saying: “Why are you crying out to me? Tell Bnei Israel to go forward” (Exodus:14:15).

This event comes to teach us a valuable lesson. As the expression goes “camera, lights, action,” so too should we treat G-d in such a manner. Before expecting G-d to help and act in favor of us, we must first fulfill our part. We cannot simply rely on G-d, his miracles, or his omnipresence. Before action, first come the camera and the lights. Before being able to expect to see G-d act before us, we must set up His stage.

We cannot simply rely on G-d, we must act. We must be able to fulfill our part and provide G-d with the materials for Him to act, as it is a one-sided affair to simply expect G-d to act for us without our input. We must set up G-d stage. We must set up the camera, the lights, and only then will action come from G-d. But first, we must act now.