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                                                                   to an eternal reality that we ourselves face on a regular
                                                                   basis. Whenever we leave Egypt, Mitzrayim, which literally
      A Message from our Rabbinic Intern                           translates as ‘limitations,’ we cross that sea and leave our
                                                                   taskmasters and slavery behind. But the way we do so is
                             Rabbi Yehoshua Lefkowitz              not uniform.

                                                                   Why not? Because when we put our two questions to-
                                                                   gether, something fascinating emerges. If each tribe had
                                                                   its own tunnel, AND the tunnels bent back on themselves
                                                                   to the same sides that they started from, then the paths
                                                                   we took would have looked like a rainbow. And just like a
                                                                   rainbow, that means that some of the paths were longer
                                                                   and others shorter! For some tribes it was easier, and for
                                                                   others it took a lot more effort - and each had its own
                                                                   experience of facing the towering waters.

                                                                   And so we emerge with the following message: We all go
                                                                   through life and face challenges. We all are pursued, con-
                                                                   fronted and surrounded with situations and decisions we
                                                                   wish we could avoid. And when we do our best, that looks
                                                                   different for each person. We should never judge ourselves
                                                                   or others by making unfair comparisons or uninformed
        The 12 Lane Highway                                        appraisals, and we should focus on the main point - that
                                                                   no matter our path, we all have the same destination:
                   Two wrongs don’t make a right -                 redemption.
                  but two questions make an answer.
                                                                   This coming year in Yerushalayim!
        The first question is truly mindboggling. At some point in our
        history we underwent a transition - from a small family of holy   Rabbi Yehoshua Lefkowitz
        shepherds into a full-blown nation with kings and priests and
        traditions - and although there are several candidates for the
        role of “moment when that happened,” the FIRST option is when
        we walked as a unified group across the bottom of an ocean.
        Hashem decided to split the sea, bring us across, and keep US
        alive but chose to drown the Egyptians pursuing us. We had
        been identified as a distinct unit.

        Except that we WEREN’T a unit. Rambam records an oral tradi-
        tion that Hashem actually split the sea into many parts so that
        each tribe would have its own tunnel - 12 tribes, 12 tunnels. But
        this is so strange: here we are, a nation in the making, about
        to experience an event that would demonstrate our unity as
        a people, and Hashem decides to split us into 12 groups? Sure,
        knowing your tribe was important, but why now of all times?

        The second question is no easier. As a kid, I always pictured that
        crossing the sea meant exactly that - crossing to the other side.
        The same piece of Rambam, however, records the tradition that
        we in fact exited the sea on the SAME side, meaning that we
        executed the world’s first U-turn. We effectively ended up where
        we started, only a little further down the shoreline. And this too
        is so strange: why would Hashem engineer this course? There
        must have been a reason, and that reason must teach me some-
        thing - or else why would this fact appear in the Torah?      As a kid, I always pictured that crossing
                                                                             the sea meant exactly that -
        To answer, we must understand the gravity of crossing the sea.        crossing to the other side.
        This was no one-off event - this was a paradigm, an introduction

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