It's the Season for Growth!

Ah Gutten Erev Pesach! We hope your cleaning and cooking and shopping all went smoothly and that somewhere, somehow, you've found some time to relax. To save you time in your quest for Pesach inspiration among all the chaos, please find some meaningful Divrei Torah from CyberSem below!

Pesach 5783


The Woman who Changed the Trajectory of the Jewish People

Basya Bas Paroh is one of the less prominent characters in the Pesach story, yet at the same time, one of the most impactful.  Let us look at a couple of profiles of her personality.


Basya the daughter of Paroh was the woman who saved Moshe Rabeinu when his family put him in a basket in the Nile so that the Egyptian policemen would not find him.  The Egyptians knew when each Jewish child would be born, and they came checking to see if it was a boy or a girl.  The boys would be systematically killed, in an effort to prevent the saviour of the Jewish people from growing up and undermining the Egyptians and taking the Jewish people from their land.  Paroh himself set the decree.  When we meet Basya, she had gone to the Nile to “wash” herself.  The Gemara says, in the name of the Rashbi, that she had not gone just to enjoy a relaxing bath, but rather to rid herself of the impurity from the idol worship at the house of her father.  She was in the process of becoming a Ger Tzedek, a Jew.  Basya also raised Moshe in the home of her antisemite father with the exception of the two years that Moshe spent in the home of his parents as he nursed. Paroh had no inkling of what was being perpetrated right under his nose.  Yes, Paroh even played games with Moshe as he was growing up.  It was Basya's grit that enabled this.


Moshe Rabeinu was born on the 7th day of Adar.  Which day was he put in the Nile?  Well, if he was born three months early and could only have been kept at home for three months, you do the math.  Moshe was saved on the 6th of Sivan, the day of Matan Torah.  Basya saved Moshe Rabeinu so that he could be the leader of the Jewish people, on the same day 80 years later and fulfill his life’s mission.  This was no coincidence.


When Basya went down to the river and renounced her connection to idol worship, she took the first step in breaking the influence of the idols and idol worship in Egypt.  Her name changed from one taken from the name of an idol to Basya, the daughter of Hashem.  Her seemingly inconsequential act of bathing in the river set forth the entire redemption from Egypt.


Where did Basya get the motivation to leave the idol worship of her people, and cleave to Klal Yisrael?  We learn from the writings of the Ar”i Z”l, that the soul of Basya was a reincarnation of the soul of Chava, the wife of Adam HaRishon.  Even though Chava sinned with the tree of knowledge, she still possessed a very lofty soul.  After all, she was formed by Hashem.  Basya received Chava's soul.   While Chava brought death to the world, Basya saved the world.  The Jewish people would not be here without her.


There was another person who also demonstrated amazing determination during our sojourn in the desert – Calev ben Yefuneh.  He was one of the spies who went into Eretz Yisroel in the time of Moshe Rabeinu.  While 10 of the spies spoke despairingly about entering Eretz Yisroel, Calev encouraged the nation to listen to Hashem.  He was not concerned with the possible repercussions of going against the other leaders; he stood up for the truth.  The Gemara in Megilla says that Calev and Basya were married.  We can see that the focus of their lives was in-synch.


Each event that we reviewed in the life of Basya indicates how far reaching seemingly “small” efforts can be.  Even though Basya did not know what the effects of her “insignificant” actions would be, we see them clearly.  So too, while we may not see the outcomes of our “small” deeds, there is no such thing as an inconsequential act, or a mitzva that does not make a difference.  In the world of education, we can learn that there is also no person who is unimportant and has nothing to contribute.  Basya, with one simple act, impacted the entire course of Jewish History.


Pesach, Chag Ha'Aviv is a time of fresh starts, new beginnings and GROWTH.

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