Spotting Elijah


Rabbi Baruch from Medzhibuzh, the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, once said, “Providing food for a person is as difficult as the splitting of the sea.” This is a very strange statement. The splitting of the sea was a miracle performed by God. For us it would be impossible, but for God it was nothing special. So is he saying that providing food for someone else is impossible or very easy? Well, maybe both. Rabbi Yisrael from Ruzhin explains, that when God split the sea a prosecuting angel challenged God, saying that the Israelites were not deserving of this miracle because they were sinners and did not perform mitzvot. Leaving aside the fact that the Torah had not been given yet.

Similarly, when someone asks for food, an accusing angel whispers in our ear, “This person is not worthy of your help. They don’t pray enough, they don’t keep Shabbat, they are not following the mitzvot.” And we think of all kinds of reasons not to help. So helping someone in need can seem as difficult to us as if we had to split the sea. But to God, splitting the sea was easy, and so should our helping another person. As we say at the seder, Kol Dichfin Yetei Veyechul, Kol Ditzrich Yetei Veyifsach, Let anyone who is hungry come and eat, let anyone who is in need come and celebrate Pesach. If we have the ability to host a seder, then there is always room to have one or two more guests, that’s easy. And who knows, maybe one of them will be Elijah the Prophet.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Pesach,
Rav Sela

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