Klal Yisroel find themselves in dire straits in this week’s parsha. Trapped between the Egyptian army in hot pursuit and the deep blue sea, they cry out to Hashem. The Medrash tells us that only on seeing רכוש של מצרים בידם, the wealth of the Egyptians in the hands of the Jewish people, did the sea split.
This is very strange. The waters did not give way for the men, women and children of Klal Yisroel, but only for the Egyptian plunder! What does this mean?
Rabbi Pinchos Roberts explains that after decades of slavery and persecution they were suddenly free and very wealthy. But their newfound wealth did not go to their heads, it was firmly in check – it was בידם, in their hands and in their control.
The Yam Suf witnessed this remarkable self-discipline of the Jewish people and only then split its waters.
Last week, we were witness to the amazing success of several Hasmonean students, success born from extraordinary self-discipline to study hard for the national Chidon HaTanach, the inter-school Bible Quiz.
I am proud to say that Hasmonean students stole the show, winning all the prizes in both the junior and senior categories. Mazal tov to Ilana Maierovits, Sara Solomon and Leah Kalmus, winners of the junior category and Batsheva Schwab, Reuven Simcha Garber and Avigayil Rowe, winners of the senior category. The senior winners will be representing Hasmonean and the UK in the famous annual World Bible Quiz on Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel in a few months’ time.
Here’s a short video clip of the event to give you a flavour.
Special thanks to Mr Maierovits who organised the event, Rabbi Silverman who has put much effort in preparing many students for this, Rabbis Amram Landau (one of the judges) and Yossi Fachler (the quizmaster) as well as many members of staff who attended.
Further information about last weeks’ event and the syllabus for next year are attached on eNews. Please see the two documents from Mr Maierovits.
I very much hope that we can build on this year’s amazing success and spread the learning and love of Tanach to many more students.
Rabbi J Golker