Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Exodus and the Tribes


What is wrong with the above picture ?

When the Jews crossed the Red Sea (Yam Suf), did they really follow one path ? A Midrash as well as the Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchak Luria teach that when the Jews crossed the Sea of Reeds, not all the tribes walked together. Instead, each tribe crossed the sea separately. The symbolic language describes how even walls were separating the different tribes but the amazing thing was that they could all see each other through those walls.

What is this statement teaching us ?

First of all, why did G - d separate the Hewish people into 12 tribes ? Couldn't their be ONE Jewish nation and that's it ? Why do we need tribes ?

Every Jew is different. He has different approaches, different ways of spirituality, of life, of everything. We are not all the same and this is what the tribes teach us in a symbolic matter. Zevulon is not Yehudah and Asher is not Shimon.

We all have different mentalities, ways of life but when it comes to the Jewish soul, we are all ONE.

And this is what the above Midrash is teaching us. Jews may be divided into totally frum, secular, traditional. One wears jeans, the other a Streimel and the third a blanket but what we should never forget is that we are ONE. I may not like my neighbour who is Vishnitz and I am Chabad. One is Munkatch and the other one is Tel Aviv secular. What we shouldn't do is looking down on someone and excluding another Jew. I think that Pessach and the Seder Tish is the best time to prove that we are still into our oneness.

1 comment:

  1. The same with our Holy Torah: it has 70 faces, that's why halacha poskim can have different views on the same issue. As far as their interpretations are Torah-based, they are valid, eventhough my Rabbi or my Rebbe thinks otherwise.