Parasha Shemot

Parasha Shemot

“And it happened during those many days, that the king of Egypt died and the children of Israel groaned from work and cried out; and his groaning over work ascended to the Creator. The Creator heard their lament and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Yaakov ”
(Shemot -Exodus 2: 23-24)

The people of Israel cried out to the Eternal because of the terrible Egyptian slavery, and the Torah tells us that God heard their cry, that is your prayer. Likewise, the verses recall the covenant between God and the holy Patriarchs regarding the redemption of the people of Israel from Egypt. All the slavery of Egypt in a sense was a Divine decree, and God himself had promised the patriarchs that after four hundred years of slavery Israel would be redeemed and that with a strong hand they would come out with great riches.

We can wonder why we say that Israel was redeemed thanks to their prayers, since the redemption of Egypt had already been established in the covenant that God made with the patriarchs.

This means that the Redemption would come anyway and without any special conditions, such as prayer. If so, why does the Torah emphasize that the Creator heard the cry and prayer of the people of Israel and that only then did redemption take place?
From the verse it seems to be understood that only by virtue of the prayer could they be redeemed ...
We can respond by saying that the very essence of the Redemption was to establish a connection between Israel and the Creator, because without that connection the Redemption has no meaning or benefit.
As is known, prayer connects a person with their Creator, that is why, when the people of Israel cried out to the Eternal, they had the merit of being redeemed in the midst of a connection and a relationship of belonging with the Creator.
The prayer was what gave content and meaning to the redemption, since otherwise they would not have had the merit of receiving the Torah. Therefore, even though they would have been redeemed even without the prayer (due to the force of the covenant established between God and the patriarchs), the prayer of the people of Israel to the Blessed Creator caused that redemption to take place in a perfect and absolute way,
feeling that everything comes of Him. That is why the Torah took the trouble to highlight and remind us of the prayer that the people prayed to God before redemption.

The Gemara (Berachot 10a) tells what happened to King Jizkiahu. The prophet Yeshaiahu told Jizkiahu that he was going to die and that he would not only lose his life in this world but also his life in the World to Come, because he had not married and had failed to fulfill one of the mitzvot of the Torah. . Hearing that, Jizkiahu began to cry and asked the prophet to allow her to marry his daughter. Yeshaiahu replied that it was too late, that the decree had already been signed.

King Jizkiahu did not accept that answer, he asked Yeshaiahu to finish transmitting the prophecy and leave. Jizkiahu climbed onto his bed, because as we know death begins with the legs. When she stopped feeling his legs, Jizkiahu bitterly cried out asking God to give her another chance and lengthen his days so that he could marry. Di'os accepted his request and they gave her another fifteen years of life to correct his actions and marry.
This was because God recognized that Jizkiahu's prayer came from the depths of his being, and we know that even when the person has a sharp sword hanging around his neck, he should not lose hope. to receive Divine mercy!
This is not understood.The Prophet Yeshaiahu knew that as long as the candle burns it is still possible to correct mistakes; In other words, King Jizkiahu still had the opportunity to pray asking Hashem to annul the bad decree As we said, even in the most difficult moments it is forbidden to lose hope of receiving Divine mercy.

Why then did the prophet tell him that it was too late? We would have hoped that at least Yeshaiahu would pray for the benefit of Jizkiahu when he saw his suffering and not that a priori it would lead him to lose all hope.
The answer is that the person's prayer for himself is not the same as the prayer of others.
The prophet Yeshaiahu knew that in those moments in which the decree had been fixed, only the prayer of Jizkiahu could reverse the situation; because his prayer would come from the depths of her heart, with all the strength and with the right intentions.
Because the prayer of Jizkiahu could be much more powerful than the prayer of Ieshaiahu (because the prayer of the person by itself has more force), Yeshaiahu did not pray asking for the king, because he wanted Jizkiahu He would cry out to God in the midst of his suffering and thus be able to reverse the bad decree, without trusting in the prophet's prayer.

This summary of the Parasha reminds us once again how important our prayer is and how even great decrees can be transformed through prayer. Hashem wants us to be connected with Him!

Dedicated for the healing of all the sick of Am Israel and the world and for the success of all those in need of sustenance.

The Garden of Breslev recommends: