This week’s parasha has a subtle theme of leadership. The Parasha begins by stating that HaShem did not want to lead the Jews by way of the Philistines because it was near. HaShem led them through the Wilderness with a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. Hashem then leads the Jewish People toward the Sea, and subsequent to the Egyptians being destroyed, Moshe has to drag the Jews away from the Sea and its spoils, to lead them on to the Promised Land.
It is said (Shemos 13:22) לֹא יָמִישׁ עַמּוּד הֶעָנָן יוֹמָם וְעַמּוּד הָאֵשׁ לָיְלָה לִפְנֵי הָעָם, He did not remove the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night from before the people. The Baal HaTurim reads this verse as an allusion to Yehoshua, the future leader of the Jewish People. The Baal HaTurim writes: לא ימיש. ב’ במס’ הכא ואידך ביהושע לא ימיש מתוך האהל כמו שהעננים היו משלימין זה לזה כך עשה יהושע משכים בבוקר בעוד עמד עמוד האש ללמוד ולערב הקדים ולמד בעוד עמד עמוד הענן והיינו לא ימיש כמו שהעננים לא משו כך יהושע לא מש מתוך האהל וע”כ זכה לילך לפני העם, Just like the clouds complemented each other, so too Yehoshua would arise to study with the pillar of fire still extant, and he would continue to study in the evening while the pillar of cloud remained. This is the meaning of the words לֹא יָמִישׁ, he did not remove. Similar to the clouds that did not move, so too Yehoshua did not move from the tent, and for this reason Yehoshua merited to go לִפְנֵי הָעָם, before the people.
It is noteworthy that Yehoshua and allusions to him appear in the Torah in surprising instances, such as here and further on by the sin of the Golden Calf. It is said (Ibid 24:13) וַיָּקָם מֹשֶׁה וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ מְשָׁרְתוֹ וַיַּעַל מֹשֶׁה אֶל הַר הָאֱלֹהִים, Moshe stood up with Yehoshua, his servant; and Moshe ascended to the Mountain of G-d. Rashi wonders for what purpose was Yehoshua with Moshe when Moshe ascend the mountain. Rashi explains that Yehoshua, the student, escorted his teacher to the boundaries of the mountain, and then Moshe ascended the mountain alone. Yehoshua then pitched his tent by the mountain for forty days, as we find that when Moshe descended, Yehoshua was there waiting to greet him. Yehoshua demonstrated a consistency unlike anyone else amongst the Jewish People. Even in chaotic times, such as leaving Egypt, receiving the Torah, the sin of the Golden Calf, the slander of the spies, Yehoshua remained dedicated to his teacher and to the study of Torah. Indeed, as the Baal HaTurim writes, Yehoshua never deviated, so he merited leading the nation. It is noteworthy that the words לֹא יָמִישׁ equal in gematria the word יהושע.
The Jewish People, have undergone many trials and tribulations, but the secret to our success is consistency. It is said that Reb Aharon Belzer zt”l said that despite the upheaval of war and fleeing from one city to another to avoid the murderous Nazis, he never changed one minhag of Belz! We can strive in our own lives to remain consistent in the study of Torah, performance of mitzvos, and by having יישוב הדעת, clarity of mind. When we merit this level of consistency, HaShem will allow us to lead our families, our communities, and soon, the road to the Ultimate Redemption, with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, speedily, in our days.
Have a LEADING Shabbos!
Erev Shabbos Kodesh Inspiration Besahlach 5776
Is sponsored in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of Aryeh Leib Adler from Chicago. May he be zoche to grow liTorah lichupah ulimaasim tovim and he should be a source of nachas to his parents and grandparents and all of Klal Yisroel!
Have a Wonderful Shabbos!
Prepared by Rabbi Binyomin Adler
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