Condolences on the passing of Richard Kaplan husband of Adelle Kaplan, father of Mark and Nicholas Kaplan.    Mazeltov to Glenn and Nicole Waner on Jacobs Barmitzvah and mazeltov to grandparents Rodney and Evelyn Waner and Barbara Katz and Moshe Katz.    Mazeltov to Howard and Janice Talpert on the birth of a grandson born in Israel and mazeltov to parents Caylee and Assaf Sarid.
Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

In a ploy to entice Pharaoh to pursue the Jewish people into the desert so that he will receive his final defeat, the Almighty directs the Jewish people to backtrack and appear lost.  The Torah states:

“And Pharaoh will say about the Children of Israel ‘They are entrapped in the land, the wilderness has enclosed them’ ” (Exodus 14:3).

How is it possible that after all of the miracles that Pharaoh could possibly think that the Almighty would abandon us?

Rabbi Simcha Zissel of Kelm elucidates that there is a fundamental principle that a person’s will and desires blind his intellect.  When a person has a strong will, he will act as irrational as a person who is crazy.  His bias will convince him that what he plans to do is sensible even though any simple person could easily tell him that he will be harming himself by his actions.

This is the answer as to why Pharaoh followed the Jewish people into the desert and into the midst of the Yam Soof (Sea of Reeds, also known as the Red Sea) to his ultimate destruction.  Our lesson: Whenever you have a strong will that might be biasing your thinking, consult other people for objective advice.  Don’t act impulsively!

2020 Sandton Shul Batmitzvah Ceremony