Past Weekly Shabbat Message
Rabbi Dovid Saks
(Torah Portion Shemos) 3-D Display!
When Moshe was born, the Torah uses the words, ‘Ki Tov - it was good’ to describe his appearance. The Torah used the same words, ‘Ki Tov’ when describing the creation of light. Our Sages explain that this is an allusion that when Moshe was born the entire house was filled with light – the special spiritual light that was present in the first days of creation. Although Moshe is the name he was known by, he also had additional names, all describing his greatness and personality. One of his names was Tov – good.
The Torah relates that for three months they were able to hide Moshe from the Egyptian authorities who were instructed to kill every Jewish male. Moshe’s sister Miriam then placed him in a basket in the Nile while she stood by with a watchful eye.
The Torah then relates that Basya, the daughter of Pharoh, went to wash herself in the Nile. Our Sages explain that Basya was not just going for a leisurely swim. Rather, she was heading to ritually immerse herself in order to rid herself of the idol worship associated with the decadent Egyptian culture; essentially she became a clandestine Jewess. In fact, Basya eventually fled Egypt with the Jewish people.
While at the edge of the Nile, Basya noticed a basket floating in the midst of the river. The Torah tells us she stretched out her arm to fetch the basket, and took Moshe to live with her in the palace. Based on the wording the Torah uses to describe her hand, our Sages tell us that Basya’s arm stretched many feet until it reached Moshe’s basket. The question raised is why did Basya even attempt to reach the basket if it was so far away? Did she really have faith that a miracle will happen and her arm would grow? The great and holy Skolyia Rebbe o.b.m. offers an amazing explanation.
We mentioned earlier that Moshe exuded a special ray of spiritual light. That spiritual light had no boundaries – similar to the spiritual light that was in existence in the world during the six days of creation which gave Adam the ability to see from one end of the world to the next. This light was called “good” because it made one’s vision boundless. When Adam and Chava (Eve) sinned, this special light was removed, however it will once again be restored in the World to Come.
With Moshe’s birth, the world was reintroduced to a semblance of this special light. Only one who was spiritually sensitive and adept was able to notice it. As Basya was assuming a life of monotheism and embracing the lifestyle of the Jews, her spiritual perception was heightened. When she saw Moshe’s basket floating in the Nile, she perceived the aura that was contained within it. Her vision was not bound by the limitations of space, thus the basket appeared to be close to her. So she reached out to grab it. G-d made her hand lengthen and she was able to reach and grab the basket.
You may be wondering, this concept sounds a bit ‘Far out!’
Consider; have you ever put on special glasses that enabled you to see 3-D images? Did you ever instinctively reached out to grab or swat away a flying something or other that you feared was coming directly at you? When one dons ‘spiritual lenses,’ they have this same effect; it makes the impossible become doable, the unimaginable become a reality and what may seem too far to reach become attainable.
Had Basya held onto her belief in her father Pharoh’s idols, she would not have attempted to personally pull the basket in and go on to save Moshe. In all probability, her attendants would have swum out, discovered that he was a Jewish child, for he was circumcised, and would have drowned him. Basya was only able to see the spiritual aura because she was spiritually sensitive to it.
Years later, Moshe noticed a Burning Bush that wasn’t being consumed. Commentators point out, that for years, this bush was burning without being consumed and many people had passed by it without stopping and taking notice. Moshe, who was spiritually sensitive, noticed it and therefore G-d communicated with him to lead the Jewish people out of the Land of Egypt. When G-d appeared at Mount Sinai to give us the Torah, we perceived and recognized His existence and His directives with brilliant clarity.
After the sinful activity of the golden calf, the spiritual clarity of the Jews became desensitized; it wasn’t a given anymore that each Jew intuitively and instinctively had this clarity. From then on, ‘the spiritual lenses and perception’ of the Jew must be continually worked on to be maintained. This comes about through following the mandate of studying our Torah, performing the Mitzvos and living with the directives of belief in G-d.
Our existence as a people and nation defies all logic. Additionally, following the rules of the Torah, the observance of Shabbos and many other laws seem to bring on financial strain, preoccupation or restraint. This all seems baffling and perplexing to the perspective of the common eye. But with our spiritual ‘3-D’ vision perception – it all becomes real, doable, attainable, rewarding and most awe-inspiring!
Wishing you a restful, peaceful and inspirational Shabbos!
Rabbi Dovid Saks