Rabbi Yonah Burr
Just Rely on Hashem!
ויסעו מאלוש ויחנו ברפידם ולא היה שם מים לעם לשתות
“They journeyed from Alush and encamped in Rephidim, and there was no water there for the people to drink”
Rashi explains that all the various journeys are recounted here to show the kindness of Hashem. Most of the travels were done in spurts, allowing the majority of the time for the stability needed to develop a family life and for spiritual growth. In addition, each journey came with its own story, and this travel log served to remind the Jews of the kindness of Hashem every step of the way.
In light of this, our verse seems to be out of place; why would the Torah state that the Jewish People did not have what to drink, without reporting the great miracles of the Manna and the Well that accompanied them throughout their stay in the desert?
Rav Moshe Feinstein z”l, in an oftentimes repeated theme, explains: Hashem actually had every greater miracles and plans in store for us. Had we simply trusted in Him fully, we would not have needed food or water at all! there would not have been a need to miraculously send us food- for we would have been on such a level that we would not have needed physical nourishment at all.
Moshe Rabbenu, when he ascended the mountain for forty days and forty nights, tells us that he didn’t eat at all during that time- he was invited to Shomayim, and was given the temporary status of an angel!
And even the people, never complained about what they would wear during their stay in the desert- and lo and behold, they didn’t need a change of clothes. Their clothing didn’t wear out, and the clouds of glory laundered and pressed their garments.
The manna and the well were indeed miraculous, but they were ‘plan B’, not the miracle Hashem had in mind for us initially. Therefore, the Torah does not recount it, because it implies a bit of criticism as well.
However, the fact that there was no water to drink, and nevertheless we survived, is indeed a testament to the kindness of Hashem.
Easier said than done, if only we could not even worry about how Hashem will provide, and maybe we would see even more miracles!
Have a wonderful Shabbos!