Written by: Rabbi Mordechai Raizman
In this week’s parsha we find an interesting posuk that comes after the splitting of the sea and right before the Jewish people singing the famous song, the Shira, in gratitude for the miracle that just saved them. “The Jewish people saw the great hand that Hashem showed in Egypt. They feared Hashem and believed in Him.”
There is an obvious question here. What does this mean that they saw the great hand that Hashem showed in Egypt? Shouldn’t they be saying they saw the great hand in front of them since the miracles in Egypt had happened in the past?
There is a famous expression – Hindsight is 20/20. There are times in our lives when we experience something but do not fully grasp the magnitude of what we just experienced until later in life. A look back gives us a different vantage point to fully understand what took place and the underlying meaning of it.
As the Jews were enslaved in Egypt for so long, it was difficult for them to truly see and understand the hand of Hashem when the miracles and plagues happened in Egypt. Now that they were finally at the end of their slavery and fully redeemed, they were able to step back and take everything in that occurred during the past year. They now fully understood what happened in Egypt. The hand of Hashem was guiding them and leading them into a new world ahead.
As we look back at this past calendar year of 2020, we are still struggling to fully understand all that has happened in our world and the messages that are being sent to us. The key is for us to continue looking back and focus on what we can learn from this experience. In the moment, our vision may not always be that clear.
However, hopefully, in the coming months we will be looking at the light at the end of the tunnel. As our vision gets clearer, let us grasp what we can from all that we experienced, whether it be the moments spent together with our families, the realization of not taking everyday activities for granted, reflecting on our spiritual growth during this time and/or strengthening our commitment to revere and respect our shuls and synagogues from which we were separated.
Do not run away from 2020. Instead, let us look back and take some greater understanding and commitment moving forward.