It says at the beginning of Parshat Beshalach, “Vayehi Beshalach… sadly it was that Pharaoh let the Jewish people go.” The commentaries ask, Why “sadly?” The Ishbitzer Rebbe says, there are moments when you have the opportunity to get everything in the world, and the saddest thing is when, at that moment, you limit yourself to one thing.
That night when G-d brought us out of Egypt, we had everything in our hands to bring the redemption. At that moment, we could have done thousands of additional things, but we were just happy to get out. It’s heartbreaking, why did we limit ourselves to something small? We could have eliminated everything at that moment, and fixed everything. We always take less at the wrong time. The moment when the Gates are open, don’t limit yourself to something small.
What will happen when Mashiach comes? What’s hatred about between nations? Hatred comes from our missing something that isn’t ours, something we didn’t take.
When G-d took us out of Egypt, you know what was wrong? We were still afraid of Pharaoh. When we left Auschwitz, we were still afraid of the Nazis. This is engraved fear. The miracle at the Red Sea is that G-d took fear from us, for a moment we were free.
Fear paralyzes us. The less fear, the more free we are, the more we can grow.
Our Torah says that the lowest, simplest person in the world, when he crossed the Red Sea, had higher vision than Ezekiel the Prophet. We were ready for the highest. For one moment, all of Israel had the same vision as Moshe. Why don’t we have the same vision as Moshe all the time? It’s because of fear.
If I’m absolutely free inside, I’m not afraid of anything.
By the end of Pesach we reach the level of infinite Prophecy and infinite riches. The Egyptians brought all their gold and silver with them, and the ocean spat it out.
There’s high oneness and lower oneness. The high oneness is like on Rosh HaShanah, when I fall down before G-d. There is only G-d: I don’t exist. Low oneness is there’s you, and then there’s me.
Why does a seed have to disintegrate before it becomes something? What remains of the seed is the deepest depths, a vessel for everything. When we stood at the Red Sea, at that very moment we were in a state of the deepest disintegration. On the one side Egyptians, on another side the Sea, and on the third side, wild animals. At that moment we were at the deepest place of recognition, and it was the children who saw G-d first when they crossed the Red Sea. We were disintegrating, but obviously not yet enough. We were still afraid of Pharaoh, we were still too afraid to be prophets.
What’s the first sign that someone’s a slave? No self-confidence, fear.
Why isn’t Mashiach coming? We’re still a little afraid of it.
Rebbe Nachman says that you can’t taste the hidden light of the world unless you first get rid of fear, because fear paralyzes us mentally and physically. At the Red Sea we learned not to be afraid, to trust G-d in the deepest way.
We are so afraid of loving people. The only ones who aren’t afraid are our children. Seder night is the fixing of fear. How do we do it? We make children the center.
On the first day of Pesach a sin offering is brought to ask G-d to forgive us for not bringing Mashiach sooner. We might have, but we were afraid to.
At the crossing of the Red Sea, all of Israel went to mikva for the first time ever. It was just before Mount Sinai – our conversion – therefore we all went to the mikva.
The end of Pesach is the highest mikva in the world. Most people don’t keep Shabbos, don’t keep Yom Tov, because they’re afraid to. Even when they keep it, it’s not done on the level of Kriyas Yam Suf [crossing the Red Sea]. Only after we cross the Red Sea can we receive the gift of a Shabbos without limits, a Yom Tov without limits. Shabbos and Yom Tov are gifts from the inside, inside, inside of heaven.
The way to fight evil is by becoming infinitely holy.
When we get out of Egypt, Pharaoh is still there. There is still evil left in the world. If we know that there is still evil left in the world, how can we sing? But when we crossed over the Red Sea, there was no evil in our world, so now we could sing.
In order to sing you have to be free. Okay. The slaves from Africa used to sing to tell you that no matter how much you tried to enslave them, they were still free. Singing comes from the world of freedom. When you sing, you are telling evil, “You don’t have dominion over me.”
In Judaism, the walking, the journey, is so important. Judaism becomes precious because of the long walk. The holiness of it is that it teaches you that you are always on the road. Teachers have to teach you the holiness of walking, and they have to walk with you. The Bal Shem Tov says that a teacher who doesn’t walk with you, doesn’t know your soul, and is not a real teacher.