Torah Blog

 

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Entries in faith (1)

Wednesday
Jan232013

Singing your soul song

The Nadvorna Rebbe (צמח ה' לצבי) points out that it was only when the people of Israel, after the splitting of the Sea, finally at long last

"believed in G-d, and in Moses His prophet," (Exodus 14:31)

that

"Then Moses sang this song" (Exodus 15:1) - which is of course the famous song of praise, Az Yashir.

The Nadvorna takes this in a certain direction (that we should sing even before the miracle occurs).
However I noticed another point that speaks to me: that just before the song, we hear that the people believed in G-d and in Moses.

Moses, who held back so much in following his calling at the beginning; Moses of "the uncircumcized lips", who resisted the call to leadership; who was also uncertain what to do at the Red Sea and had to be firmly instructed by G-d, "Why do you cry to me? Speak to the people of Israel, that they go forward!" (Ex. 14:15). This is the Moses who suddenly sings out without hesitation, with great confidence.

Perhaps it was precisely the people's palpable faith in him that now suddenly granted Moses the ability to sing  this extended, articulate and poetic paean to G-d. Perhaps this even enables the next phase of his spiritual career, as he becomes a fine-tuned instrument of G-d and goes on to receive the Torah on Mt Sinai.

Faith in G-d, is one important lesson of this part of the Exodus narrative; but here we also have a window into the importance of faith in people, especially our leaders.

The famous Torah of R' Nachman, the Azamra Torah (292) that speaks of finding the good points in another person and thus elevating them, continues with the following:

In just the same way you must carry on searching until you find another good point. Even if you feel that this good point is also full of flaws, you must still search for some good in it. And so you must continue finding more and more good points. This is how songs are made.

Now I understand this idea expressed by R' Nachman, which I have read several times in the past, in a more meaningful way. This truly is how songs are made.

Also, we are told they believed in Moses G-d's servant. Thus, our perception of the potential in people and leaders is most empowering to them when we focus on their calling in this life, on how they can be of unique Divine service.

So let us hold a gaze of steady faith in those others we have been given to love and admire - friends, family, leaders - so as to enable them to sing their unique divine soul song, a gift to all who surround them.