This page presents insights by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton on the weekly Torah portion.
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Passover (5762 (2))
The seventh day of Passover was the final step in the exodus - the Jews crossed the Sea, and the Egyptian army was destroyed.
The Torah tells us that after the sea split the people believed in G-d, and Moses His servant.
Why did the Jews wait so long to believe in Moses? How can one believe in him just like one believes in G-d? Is such a thing permissible in Judaism?
Here is a story I saw in a book called Ahavat Chiam that may help us understand.
Once in the city of Gerba, Tunisia there lived two simple Jewish women, neighbors living one next to the other.
Of course both observed all the commandments (in Tunisia there was no such thing as a non-religious Jew) but there was one major difference between them. One believed firmly in the blessings of the Rabbi that was in their neighborhood, and the other was totally skeptical.
As fate would have it their husbands were, in this respect, the opposite from them; the skeptic's husband had faith in the Rabbi while the believer's did not.
The story begins as both of them are waiting in the Rabbi's front room to receive his blessing. It seems that the skeptic's husband had been ill for several weeks with high temperature and the doctors had just given up on him. She at first refused to go to the Rabbi but now, with no other alternative here she was, waiting for the Rabbis advice and blessing.
The other woman's husband had been unjustly fined a large sum of money by the Sultan now that he was unable to repay him he faced imprisonment, or worse.
They had both written their requests on pieces of paper and handed them in. And now, after about an hour of waiting, the Rabbi's assistant finally came out with two letters containing the Holy Rabbi's advice and blessings to each of the women.
But somehow the usually able and conscientious assistant somehow confused the letters. The sick man's advice he gave to the debtor's believing wife, and the doubting wife of the sick man got the letter meant for the the man in dept.
The non-believer brought the letter to her ailing husband and said sarcastically, "Well, I read the letter. I hope you're happy now! All the letter says is not to worry everything will be all right! That's a pretty easy treatment, and very inexpensive also. Some Rabbi we have!!" But her husband was relieved. It was a promise from the Rabbi, and for sure everything would be alright.
And sure enough in a day or two he was already on his feet. A miracle!!
Meanwhile, in the other household things weren't so simple. The cynical husband, the one in trouble with the Sultan opened his letter and his eyes widened with disbelief.
"What!! He wants me to put leaches and hot cups on my back!! (heat was applied to cups and as they cooled they caused a vacuum drawing the blood to the surface leaving large bruises)
But his confident wife soon convinced him to follow the great Rabbi's orders. "He is a great Tzaddik!" she sang out. "Who knows if all our problems aren't because you are so stubborn? Not only that, you don't have much of a choice, do you?"
Grudgingly he allowed his wife to apply the cups and leaches, and lay face down on his bed as the blood drained from his system.
After an hour, just as she was about to remove the treatment, there was suddenly a loud knock at the door. His wife left the bedroom, closed the door behind her, went to the front door and opened it.
There stood four huge soldiers announcing menacingly, "We came for your husband!"
"But he is sick!" She protested.
"We have orders to bring him alive or ….."
"But he's bruised and bleeding!!" She pleaded.
"We will carry him. But if we don't bring him NOW, we're in trouble, and YOU are in bigger trouble."
She ran back into the bedroom, quickly removed the cups and leeches (which had been on much too long), hid them under the bed and called the soldiers to have a look.
"See!" She pointed at him pitifully "How can you…."
Before she finished the sentence they put a few blankets on the ground, unceremoniously lifted his almost lifeless body from the bed onto them, each took a corner, rushed him out the door and a half hour later they were standing before the Sultan.
"Ugh!" he exclaimed! "What happened to him? Why is he so bruised? And bleeding"
His wife was beside herself with grief and she ran in to the room screaming at the soldiers "Robbers! Cruel kidnappers!"
But the Sultan didn't understand. He thought she was answering his question. "What! Robbers in my kingdom?! Kidnappers? How did it happen? Who robbed him?! When did it happen?"
She stood there catching her breath and suddenly blurted out. "Ahh! It was awful!! He had all the money to give you, he was on his way and robbers took it all from him, just look at him now!! How will we pay the fine...." And she burst into tears.
"Do not cry my daughter" said the Sultan magnanimously.
"You do not have to fear. The Sultan Abdulla will in his great mercy comfort you! I will catch the thieves. If it is known that there are such vermin in my kingdom it will be a disgrace to my name. Because they robbed you in my kingdom I hold myself to be personally responsible, and will bear the burden of your loss. In fact I will even grant you 500 golden pieces for the healing of your husband. Accept my apologies."
So we see that believing in the Rabbis itself can cause G-d to do miracles.
With this simple faith the Jews left Egypt and the Sea split for them. And with this simple faith in the words of the Lubavitcher Rebbe that ours is the age of Redemption and Moshiach is already here, soon we will open our eyes and see….
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