Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just Do It!

Without question, the Biblical spokesman for Nike® would have been Nachshon the son of Aminadav. Nachshon, the Prince of the Tribe of Judah, showed the Children of Israel what faith was really about.

Shortly after the Israelites left Egypt, Pharaoh sent his chariots racing after his former slaves, to return them to slavery. While the Israelites had a three day lead, they were traveling with young and old, slowing their progress. When the Egyptians caught up, the Israelites panicked. Ahead of them stood the vast Sea of Reeds (often translated as the Red Sea) and behind them, the Egyptians.

The Israelites turned on Moses and said that it would have been better had they stayed in Egypt, slaves but still alive (Exodus 14:11-12). Moses assured the people that God would fight for them. God then instructed Moses to tell the Israelites to go forward, and to stretch his staff over the sea so that it would split.

The Midrash, however, explains that the Israelites were not at all keen on following Moses’ directions. The Talmud (Sotah 37a) states, “Each tribe was unwilling to be the first to enter the sea. Then Nachshon the son of Aminadav sprang forward and descended first into the sea.”

Letting the water come up to his knees, his waist, his shoulders... Nachshon did not pause. Nachshon was confident that God would fulfill his promise. And so, when Nachshon was up to his nose in water, the sea burst apart and the entire nation was able to cross on dry land.

Nachshon didn’t hesitate. He knew that a show of faith was necessary in order to bring redemption, so he jumped in and earned himself an eternal place in Jewish history.

TODAY is the fifth day of the Omer

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