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Thoughts by the Menorah

Making a good shidduch is a very difficult thing. Although marriages are made in Heaven, that doesn’t seem to make it much easier. Indeed, in the Talmud it says (Sotah 2a), “It is hard (Rashi: before Hashem!) to pair them off as the splitting of the Reed Sea.”

This sounds very, very strange. How can anything Hashem does be described as hard? And why is the splitting of the Reed Sea the specific example used? Why was that miracle any more “difficult” than all the other ones? And what is the comparison between them?

I once heard an explanation from one of my rebbeim, Harav Varshavchik zt”l. Hashem created the world and instituted an order of operation called teva (Nature). This is the way He wants the world to be run. Only in times of dire emergency, when the normal way threatens His Master Plan, does Hashem use alternate methods which are nissim me’al hateva (unnatural miracles). But even then, Hashem prefers to hide the nes as much as possible.

In the case of the splitting of the Reed Sea, however, Hashem revealed this miracle to the entire world, as it says in Rashi (Shemos 14:21 from the Midrash), “’And the waters split,’ all of the waters in the entire world.” This is something which is considered “difficult” for Hashem, since it contradicts His normal Will.

The comparison to shidduchim, Rav Varshavchik explained, is that when a boy and girl become engaged, the Hashgachah (Divine Providence) is so obvious, that the whole world sees that it was guided by Hashem, and everyone joins in singing His praises.

My Rebby, shlita, taught us to sit in front of the lit Chanukah Menorah, for half an hour, and contemplate the miracles of Hashem. He also told us that it is a time to think not only about the miracle of Chanukah but of all of the miracles which He performs for the Jewish People, in general, and for us, in particular, throughout our lives. Personally, I found that half an hour is a bit too much for most of us and I recommend spending fifteen minutes or so. It is a perfect time to think about all of the “coincidences” in our lives which are really nothing else but Hashem’s Guiding Hand helping us along the way.

When one realizes how much Hashem is a part of his life, he feels secure knowing that he is not subject to chance but is a part of a planned, organized system which is being run and supervised by none other than the Almighty Himself. Those who have that perfect faith and trust in Hashem are the ones who know how to celebrate Chanukah properly; with utmost joy and tranquility. They sing the Chanukah songs with their children and teach them, too, to trust in Hashem. They are the ones who will always be happy, in this world and the World-to-Come.

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel