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By: Mrs. Rina Zinkin

In this week’s parsha, parshas Beshalach, immediately after Bnei Yisrael sang the Shira to Hashem, the pesukim describe the immediate downfall in the attitude of Bnei Yisrael to their situation in the desert. The pasuk states,”They came to Marasa, were unable to drink the waters from Mara, because they were bitter; they therefore called the place Mara”. The simple explanation of “because they were bitter” is that it refers to the water i.e. they were unable to drink because the waters were bitter. However, the Kutzker Rebbe has a different understanding of this pasuk, which carries with it a very profound and critical message for our lives; the negative attitude and the fact that they were “bitter people”. Therefore they were unable to drink the waters. The water, in and of itself, was completely fine. But to bitter people, people who see all situations in a negative light, the sweetest waters in the world will taste completely bitter. This negative attitude creates a perceived negative reality that affects and impacts all aspects of one’s life. One becomes blocked from appreciating the sweetest and most abundant blessings that have actually been bestowed upon him/her.

The Kutzker’s idea can be expanded to one’s appreciation for the most magnificent present we’ve ever received, the Holy Torah. Every morning in Birchos HaTorah, we ask Hashem to make the Torah sweet for us – “V’ha’arev na Hashem Elokeinu es divrei Torasech…”, so that we and our children should love and enjoy learning Torah. Rav Pam zt”l asks: How can we ask Hashem to sweeten the Torah? Isn’t it already the sweetest treasure in the world? Rav Pam zt”l answers that it’s true, the Torah is objectively the sweetest thing in the world - it is we, who have a problem and don’t recognize and taste the Torah’s sweetness. Rav Pam, zt”l, compares this to one who suffers from a disease in their mouth and all that he/she ingests tastes bitter, no matter how sweet the food is. We must ask Hashem to heal us and help us taste the sweetness of the Torah.

May we be zocheh to always have a positive outlook on all situations in life, and to ultimately recognize the blessings that Hashem has bestowed upon us.





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