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The Systems of the Jewish Year

Do It Anyway

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Here is one of the less discussed miracles that took place in Egypt.

The pharaoh of Egypt had decreed that all the Jewish boy babies were to be drowned at birth. Yocheved, Moses’ mother, hides her newborn Moses for 3 months and then places her baby in a caulked wicker basket in the Nile River reeds.

Moses is left in a basket amid the reeds and bulrushes along the Nile, in Egypt where the Bnei Yisroel had been living since they arrived in Egypt.

G-d navigated the basket as it surfed the waves and dodged the crocodiles of the Nile. Like a guided missile it traveled to almost the exact spot that the pharaoh’s daughter was bathing.

The baby’s crying alerts the pharaoh’s daughters. She couldn’t reach the basket but she extended her arm anyway. Rashi reports that another miracle took place, and her too short arm extended beyond it’s reach and she takes the baby.

Why the miracle? G-d already brought the basket miles down the river in order for Moses to meet it’s destiny. Why didn’t He bring it just another few feet to the shore of the princess. Why did her arm have to miraculously extend so that she can reach the baby?

The answer lies in the lesson that is learned.

This princess really couldn’t reach Moshe but with all her heart and soul she wanted to save the baby. In what seemed like an exercise in futility she uselessly extended her arm. She extended herself as far as she could, and because of this a miracle happened and her reach went further and further until it reached it’s destination.

The lesson: so often in life we so much want to help, we want to accomplish, we want to achieve greatness - but we can’t really reach. The goal is beyond us so we don’t even try.

Learn from the miracle of Batya; extend your arm anyway, stretch as far as you can and watch the miracle happen. G-d takes you to your goal and the deepest part of your heart is fulfilled.

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