Daily Zohar # 3263 – Beshalach – How to split the ‘sea’
Daily Zohar 3263
113. וְהָיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל חוֹנִים עַל הַיָּם, וְהָיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל רוֹאִים אֶת גַּלֵּי הַיָּם עוֹלִים וְיוֹרְדִים. הֵרִימוּ עֵינֵיהֶם, וְרָאוּ אֶת פַּרְעֹה וְהָאוּכְלוּסִים שֶׁלּוֹ, וּפָחֲדוּ וְצָעֲקוּ, וַהֲרֵי נִתְבָּאֵר. הַיָּם רָאָה – מָה רָאָה הַיָּם? הוּא רָאָה אֶת אֲרוֹנוֹ שֶׁל יוֹסֵף, וּבָרַח מִלְּפָנָיו. מָה הַטַּעַם? [מִשּׁוּם] שֶׁכָּתוּב (בראשית לט) וַיָּנָס וַיֵּצֵא הַחוּצָה, וְעַל זֶה הַיָּם רָאָה וַיָּנָס, וְכָתוּב וַיָּסַר אֵת אֹפַן מַרְכְּבֹתָיו וְגוֹ’ אָנוּסָה מִפְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. מָה הַטַּעַם? מִשּׁוּם שֶׁרָאוּ אֶת אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם כְּאִלּוּ עוֹלָה בָּאֵשׁ, וְאָז אָמְרוּ אָנוּסָה מִפְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.
Rabbi Yitzchak says that when the Israelites came closer to the sea, the Holy One Blessed be He called the minister of the Sea and told him that when he created the world and appointed him on the Sea he conditioned him to split the water when his children, the Israelites, come to pass through it.
“וַיֵּט מֹשֶׁה אֶת יָדוֹ עַל הַיָּם וַיָּשָׁב הַיָּם לִפְנוֹת בֹּקֶר לְאֵיתָנוֹ”
“So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak, the sea returned to its normal state.”
After the Israelites passed through the sea, Moses released the sea to go back to normal. The word ‘לאיתנו’, ‘to its normal state’ has the same letters as ‘לתנאיו’ that means ‘to its conditions’. The sea returned to the conditions that were set with God when he created the world.
The Israelites saw the sea waves going up and down in front of them and the Egyptian army behind them. They feared and cry to God. Then God removed the ‘wheel’ of Egypt and they stopped as explained previously.
“הַיָּם רָאָה וַיָּנֹס הַיַּרְדֵּן יִסֹּב לְאָחוֹר.”
“The sea looked and fled; The Jordan turned back.”
The sea saw and ‘fled’. The Zohar explains that the sea saw the coffin of Joseph and fled, meaning opened a path for Joseph to pass through the sea. The sea fled because Joseph earned great merits when he ‘fled’ from the wife of Potiphar that tried to seduce him to have sex with her. He kept the purity of his ‘Yessod’ and merited to be called a Tzadik. Also, Joseph asks his brothers and children to take his bones with them when God comes to take out of Egypt the Holy Land that was promised to their ancestors.
The river Nile gave life to Egypt. The Egyptians put Joseph’s coffin in the Nile to bless its water as Joseph blessed Egypt with his presence. Serach, the granddaughter of Jacob showed Moses where they put Joseph’s coffin. It was made from metal and hidden well. Moses stood in front of the Nile, calling Joseph (עלה שור) to reveal himself because the time has come to fulfill their promise and take him with them out of Egypt (Exodus 13:19). Joseph’s coffin floated above the water and Moses could take it with them.
“The Jordan turned back” from the verse above is a reference to another miracle of splitting the water. It happened when Joshua came to cross the Jordan river (Joshua chapter 3). When the priests with the Holy ark step into the Jordan River, the flow of the river stopped allowing them to pass.
Because the Jordan River flows from the high north to the Dead Sea on the lower south, the water stopped on the north side, which is the aspect of turning back. From that point the water continued flowing down, leaving dry land for the Israelites to pass through into their Promised Land.
When we earn merits, we increase the light around ourselves and able to split ‘darkness’ to walk safely through. A person with light experience a significant reduction of negativity in his close environment because the light pushes away the darkness in all aspects of our lives.