Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – January 29-30 (17 Shevat 5781)

January 29-30, 2021                                                                                       Parashat Beshallach

17 Shevat 5781                                                                                               Shabbat Shira


Finally liberated from generations of slavery, the Israelites stood terrified at the shore of the Sea of Reeds. Ahead of them was the raging Sea. Behind them were angry Egyptians. What could they do? Some scholars said each tribe demanded to enter the Sea first. Other scholars said each tribe demanded that others go first. But this moment in our collective narrative belongs to one man. A midrash says that while the Israelites were arguing about which tribe should go first, Nachshon ben Amminadab of the tribe of Judah jumped into the waves of the Sea. According to the midrash, it was at that moment that the waters parted and the Israelites walked on dry land to freedom.

Rabbi Sid Schwarz teaches that we don’t have to believe the miracle happened as the midrash suggest: “Every great moment in history, every person who achieves greatness, every person who conquers the fears that may have paralyzed them for years has that Nachshon moment.”

Only after one person takes that first courageous step can miraculous intervention take place.

For Reflection: Have you ever experienced a Nachshon moment when you jumped into unknown waters?

Shabbat Shira: This Shabbat is known as the Shabbat of Song, so named for the song the Israelites sang when they reached the other side of the Sea of Reeds. The Torah portion contains sections with special cantillation, and the visual layout of the text in the scroll is particularly symbolic.

Next ‘We Remember’ Service: Friday, February 12 at 3:00 PM on Channel 1960 (Residents only)


Next ‘Healing & Hope’ Service: Friday, February 26 at 3:00 PM on Channel 1960 (Residents only)


Please join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960: (Residents only)

Friday at 4:30 PM: Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Evening Service) & Blessings

Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Shacharit (Morning Service) & Blessings


Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo:

Friday evening at 5:01 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 5:59 PM



Shabbat Shalom!                                                                                Rabbi Sherman