News From Ramaz
By Avi F. K. (Grade 6)
In this week's parasha, פרשת בשלח, many important things happen. Bnei Yisrael finally leave Egypt. They start heading into the desert toward the ים סוף. After three days, when Pharaoh realizes that the Jews will not return to Egypt he chases after them with his army. That night the עמוד הענן went behind Bnei Yisrael to protect them from the Egyptians' encampment. The next morning 'ה split the sea and Bnei Yisrael crossed over to the other side! However,when the Egyptians tried to follow them through the sea, the water came crashing down on them! After thanking 'ה by singing שירת הים, they continue their journey to ארץ ישראל. Soon, they run out of water in a place called מרה -- at this point another miracle occurs and 'ה gives Bnei Yisrael drinkable water. Later, they run out of food but 'ה helps them again by giving them מן. At the end of the parasha, Bnei Yisrael encounter the evil nation of עמלק. They have a war with עמלק, and with 'ה's help they come out victorious.
One thing in this parasha that really stood out to me was when the עמוד הענן went behind Bnei Yisrael the Chumash says,
¨ויסע מלאך האלקים ההלך לפני מחנה ישראל וילך מאחוריהם".
The מלאך אלקים represents the עמוד הענן here. Since the עמוד הענן was leading them it is called מלאך האלקים, the messenger of 'ה. Most of the time when the Chumash calls G-d, אלקים, it's showing G-d as our judge. For example if it says ויאמר אלקים, it will probably be a verdict. Rashi picks up on this and writes that at that time Bnei Yisrael were being judged on whether to live or to be destroyed along with the Egyptians. We see from here that even though Bnei Yisrael had just been slaves for 210 years (which they don't know the reason for) they're still being judged for their sins. This shows us that no matter what someone has been through or done, they should be judged like everyone else. שבת שלום