Am I really free from my old way of life? Am I going somewhere in life that leads to eternal contentment, or am I wandering through this existence, at the mercy of happenstance? These are some of the big questions tackled in the Torah reading בְּשַׁלַּח Beshalach (“when he sent”), covering Ex. 13:17-17:16. We can’t imagine what our ancestors in faith experienced as they witnessed God’s work during the Exodus from Mitzraim (Egypt). As they were leaving the house of bondage, were they really free or did they leave their hearts in Mitzraim, despite the cruelties and indignities they experienced there?
It took more faith to save Yisra’el than lamb’s blood on the doorposts as the Destroyer of the firstborn roamed the streets of Mitzraim during the first Passover. Then came being cornered by a huge army and going into the desert without sufficient water or food. It’s all part of the training in righteousness that all believers in the LORD much travel.
A shelach is an emissary or an ambassador. In this section, we will meet several people who were sent to represent God. There are several questions to as yourself as you read through this parashah including: “Is God with us?”, “Are we really free?”, “Where do we find our daily bread?” and “Where do we find living water?” The main message of this parashah is about Emanuel, God is with us.