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Never Gonna Bring Us Down

By: Ms. Miriam Polinsky

In Perek Gimel of this week's parsha, Parshat Shemot, Moshe encounters a peculiar, yet marvelous, sight:

"והנה הסנה בוער באש והסנה איננו אוכל   

Hashem shows Moshe the burning bush.  The bush is on fire, but not actually burning.

The former Slonimer Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom Noach Berezovsky, writes in his sefer Netivot Shalom, that the burning bush symbolizes the special strength of Am Yisrael, and demonstrates this through a mashal by comparing the burning bush to a seed.  It is well known that after a seed is planted in the ground, it takes some time for a plant to grow from that seed. What is less known, is that in the time between the planting of the seed and the growth of the plant, the seed comes close to totally decaying.  Just a short moment before the seed actually dies, it begins to grow.

The Netivot Shalom uses the example of the seed to elucidate Chazal’s statement about why Bnei Yisrael had to flee Egypt בחיפזון, quickly. Chazal tell us that the reason that Bnei Yisrael had to be so swift in their departure from Egypt was because they had already descended to the 49th gate of טומאה, impurity.  Had Bnei Yisrael reached the 50th, and final, level of impurity, they would not have been able to rise from it.  The Netivot Shalom explains that just as a seed starts to grow moments before its total decay, Bnei Yisrael started their growth —their journey to becoming an independent and successful nation, moments before they were about to fall to the lowest level of טומאה.

According to the Netivot Shalom, this idea is what Hashem was showing Moshe with the burning bush. The powers of טומאה, be they terror, darkness pessimism, or negativity, are constantly eating at Am Yisrael, trying to bring us down.  However, what we learn from the parsha is that just like the bush seemed to be burning butהסנה  איננו אוכל  , the bush was never consumed by the fire, the Jewish people too, always have the strength to overcome whatever טומאה they may be up against.

When Moshe sees the bush burning but not being consumed, he says:

 “אסורה נא ואראה את המראה הגדול הזה מדוע לא יבער הסנה”  

Moshe is amazed by the fact that the bush won't burn even though it is on fire.  But Moshe also understands that through the scene of the burning bush, Hashem is demonstrating to him the special power of Am Yisrael, that no matter what challenge, darkness or fire is eating at us and bringing us down, we always grasp the life that remains within us, and never burn out, nor give up.

May we always see and grasp the light, the good, the positive, and the life in any situation, and know with confidence that we can overcome anything on our path towards growth and accomplishment.


Shabbat Shalom!





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