Parshat BeShalach In Memory of Shimshon Ben Shalom
וּבְר֤וּחַ אַפֶּ֙יךָ֙ נֶ֣עֶרְמוּ מַ֔יִם נִצְּב֥וּ כְמוֹ־נֵ֖ד נֹזְלִ֑ים קָֽפְא֥וּ תְהֹמֹ֖ת בְּלֶב־יָֽם׃

At the blast of Your nostrils the waters piled up, The floods stood straight like a wall;
The deeps froze in the heart of the sea.

Based on this verse, the Targum Onkelos says that the water had become smart.

Based on this concept that the water of the sea that split was smart water we have a few questions! Firstly, what smartness is there that can be ascribed to water!? And if there is wisdom by water, what wisdom is this? Didn't HaShem command the water to split, and it seems that the water was just following orders from HaShem, and that there was no wisdom on the waters part to follow such a command?

An additional question that we have is regarding the double language used in this above verse.. it seems to be talking about the same act, but twice..

First - At the blast of Your nostrils the waters piled up

Second - The floods stood straight like a wall

The Torah doesn't waste words, so why tell me twice that the waters were piled up and split, let alone in the same verse!

As well... we see King David in Pslams did the same thing!

(יג) בָּ֣קַע יָ֭ם וַיַּעֲבִירֵ֑ם וַֽיַּצֶּב־מַ֥יִם כְּמוֹ־נֵֽד׃

(13) He split the sea and took them through it; He made the waters stand like a wall.

We have to look into the order King David chose for this verse. It says the sea split and then took the Israelites through it, and then after already talking about having taken the Israelites to safety the verse mentions again that the waters stood like a wall. The verse should have said that the Israelites passed through after telling us the water split. Again, we see two different mentioned of water splitting over here.. whats going on?

And we will attempt to explain this with the help of Heaven. It makes sense to ask how its possible that the Egyptians saw the miracles of the Blessed Hashem and were not impressed and in a state of wonder from all they just experienced regarding the Israelites and their wondrous series of events that led to them leaving Egypt! We can say that until the splitting of the sea, the Egyptians, with their impure way of life were actually not impressed, simply because they with their dark magic were able to replicate what they saw. But the splitting of the sea, which was a wondrous event that they could not do on their own, how did this miracle not make a elating impression on them that they continued to chase after the Israelites!?

To explain whats going on we will look into the writings of the Genius the Chatam Sofer, may he be remembered for eternal life, on the below verse, and Rashis strange comment on that verse -

וָאֵרָ֗א אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֶל־יִצְחָ֥ק וְאֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֖ב בְּאֵ֣ל שַׁדָּ֑י וּשְׁמִ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה לֹ֥א נוֹדַ֖עְתִּי לָהֶֽם׃
I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, but I did not make Myself known to them by My name יהוה.
וארא. אֶל הָאָבוֹת:
וארא AND I APPEARED — to the patriarchs.

The famous question asked on the above is the following. When the verse says I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Rashi, who usually gives us insight where its lacking comes and says I appeared to the patriarchs. What is Rashi of Blessed Memory trying to convey over here, we already know that these men are our patriarchs.. what are we missing here? So the Chatam Sofer over here says that the word for patriarchs, Avot, comes from a language of Ratzon/Desire, as we can see that same word implying that meaning from the below verse -

וַיְחַזֵּ֥ק יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶת־לֵ֣ב פַּרְעֹ֑ה וְלֹ֥א אָבָ֖ה לְשַׁלְּחָֽם׃

But the LORD stiffened Pharaoh’s heart and he did not want to let them go.

So the intention here is that the Blessed HaShem only appears to those that seek to see him! But those that have no desire to see the Blessed HaShem in reality, he does not become apparent to them, and is concealed from them!

Based on this we can suggest how and that indeed the water acted with wisdom. The water split in two different manners! For the Holy Children of Israel that were in a state of yearning to see HaShem, for them the sea split in a way that the water was a smooth wall to their right and left, and these walls were made out of precious stones and gems, and they were walking through gardens of paradise, with all types of fruits and herbs, as its taught by the sages of Israel. And its understood that from this experience Israel came to extremely high levels of understanding of Godliness and wisdom until they peaked and burst out in song with all their might and joy, as we see in the teaching of the sages -

רָאָתָה שִׁפְחָה עַל הַיָּם מַה שֶּׁלֹּא רָאָה יְחֶזְקֵאל,

We learn that "a handmaid saw at the sea splitting what Ezekiel the Prophet wasn't even able to see" (Mekhilta 15:2:2),

It is explained by the Holy Rabbi, the firebrand of Strelisk may he be remembered for eternal life on the below verse -

וַיַּ֨רְא יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל אֶת־הַיָּ֣ד הַגְּדֹלָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר עָשָׂ֤ה יְהוָה֙ בְּמִצְרַ֔יִם וַיִּֽירְא֥וּ הָעָ֖ם אֶת־יְהוָ֑ה וַיַּֽאֲמִ֙ינוּ֙ בַּֽיהוָ֔ה וּבְמֹשֶׁ֖ה עַבְדּֽוֹ׃ (פ)

And when Israel saw the wondrous power which the LORD had wielded against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD; they had faith in the LORD and His servant Moses.

The language used here to describe their understanding of HaShem, וַיִּֽירְא֥וּ הָעָ֖ם אֶת־יְהוָ֑ה, implies that they had a simple understanding, since the People of Israel became worthy of having the glory of Hashem revealed to them, and it was as they saw Him EYE to EYE!

But regarding the Egyptians, they only saw the sea splitting in a very chaotic manner where the water was piling up onto of itself, and they went after their close minded logic and rationed that what they were seeing was an act of nature, and they were not impressed or in a state of wonder. This is all because the Holy One Blessed be He only reveals Himself to those that desire to see Him! And only for those humans do they get to see wonders and miracles in the world, and see HaShems outstretched arm.

And this is why the verse regarding the sea splitting is translated as the water became smart. Which is that for the children of Israel the water split with great wisdom as we detailed before, which was not the case for the Egyptians who saw the splitting of the sea as a random act of nature, where water piles up upon itself (Like in a Tsunami). Based on this there is no double language or repetitive words like we asked about earlier! The verse is informing us that the sea split two different ways! How it appeared to the Israelites, and how it appeared to the Egyptians.

And this is the intention as well by King David in Pslams, when he said the sea split and they passed through it - that is talking about Israel, in that The Holy One Blessed be He split the sea for them in a tremendously elevated manner, and they passed through. Only after King David then says that the sea was split and stacked upward, as if to say how the splitting appeared to the eyes of the Egyptians as a natural scenario of water stacking up upon itself, without having the ability to see the magnitude of what was actually happening. Based on this it makes sense why King David mentions that the Israelites passed through, and then talks again about water splitting. The first instance is talking about the Israelites - 'and the sea split and they passed through', and then afterwards he is speaking of the Egyptians, and the verse says 'the water stood like a wall'. And this is correct, with the Help of HaShem.