Drash Cards for BeShallach (5760)
by Marc Mangel
• We have the Exodus, the Red Sea splitting, manna feeding the people.
• Then the attack of Amalek happens and we are told to blot out Amalek (Ch 17, v 9).
• How could God — who has just redeemed the people — let this happen?
• One answer comes from Pike Avot, 4-10: “Do not judge the unique one”
• But this gets us into the dangerous topic of Jewish belief
• Heschel tells us that the paradox of Judaism is that the infinite God is concerned with finite man — nothing is trite or irrelevant in the eyes of God
• So how do we get God among us even when things like the attack of Amalek happens?
• Heschel again: A Jew is asked to take a leap of action than a leap of faith. To get God among us, do a mitzvah — any mitzvah.
• Heschel continues: Judaism stands and falls with the idea of the absolute of relevance of human deeds. By living as Jews we attain faith as Jews. We do not have faith in deeds; we attain faith through deeds.
• And the last word to Heschel: The problem or question is not how much to observe but how to observe (with kavanna)