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Parshat Beshalach: Holy Coincidences

by Chaya Rivka Zwolinski

In Parshat Beshalach the Jews find themselves trapped between Pharaoh’s pursuing army and the Red Sea. They stand trembling on the shores. Nachshon ben Aminadav takes a brave first step into the sea. Then Moshe is instructed to raise his staff. The sea splits. The Jews cross to safety while Pharaoh’s army, the horses and the charioteers drown in the Red Sea to be entombed forever. Nachshon inspires us because he faced up to a tremendous obstacle.

Reb Nosson tells us that if a person really wants to do a mitzvah, he is going to face obstacles. Yet, he can overcome all the obstacle if he has the force of his will and his aim is true. He gives an example: Let’s say that a person wants to travel to Eretz Yisroel, the holy land. Perhaps he comes to the port and there is no ship or he has no money. If he truly wants to perform this mitzvah, he will see miracles that enable him to complete the mitzvah of going to the holy land and to make the trip.

Reb Nosson tells us that a lot of little miracles that help us make a spiritual accomplishment are as great as the miracle involved in the splitting of the Red Sea. He says that the miracle of the sea splitting is very, very big but it only lasted for a short time. We can take a closer look at the “coincidences” in our lives. We can choose to open our eyes to the Hashgacha Pratis (Divine Providence) and see that these coincidences are holy. We begin to see the hand of Hashem, which has brought us exactly to the spot on which we stand today.  When we do this, we will see how Hashem has guided us every step along the way. If we makes it a habit to look for the Hasgacha Pratis, we will experience more and more of it.

Rebbe Nachman himself encourages us to look for Hashem’s Hashgacha in our lives. To think about how they occurred in the past, how they are occurring in the present and to be aware of how they might occur future.  To really be in the moment as we experience them. The more we look to see Hashem’s Hand in our lives, the more we may see it.

May you have a day in which you are aware of and experience openly the hand of Hashem.

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