The Chafetz Project -
Melekhet Machashevet Citations

    The following are online citations from Moshe Chafetz's 1710 work Melekhet Machashevet, found via an unfiltered Google search and other occasional searches.

    Not all links are still active, but relevant text is excerpted here in full.

    Parshat Beshalach
    (From Exodus)

    Midei Shabbos Beshabbato - Thoughts on the Weekly Parshah (Johannesburg)

    Excerpt: "Hashem will fight on your behalf and you shall be silent." (14:14)

    R. Moshe Cheifetz explains this Pasuk differently. According to him, it must be read as a rhetorical question - "What, will Hashem fight on your (plural) behalf and you will remain silent?"

    Now is not the time for you (singular) to Daven, the Pasuk continues, but for a magnificent display of Emunah involving the whole of K'lal Yisrael. Therefore "Speak to the B'nei Yisrael, and (tell them that) they shall travel". 'Let them demonstrate their faith in Me, G-d was saying, by marching into the sea even before it has begun to split. And only then, stretch out your stick and split the Sea'.

    It often happens that a task seems so formidable, that one is loathe to undertake it. Here, Hashem teaches us that even if it seems impossible, one should not be deterred from making the effort, because if it is for the sake of Hashem, then the Emunah that the undertaking entails, will often evoke a Divine response, and one will go on to achieve the impossible. The commentaries cite a precedent for this with regard to Bisyah, Paroh's daughter, who stretched out her arm to retrieve the little reed-box that held Moshe. Although the box was way beyond her reach, she had done what she could, and G-d did the rest.


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