This week, the Torah portion describes one of the most incredible episodes in world history: the splitting of the Red Sea and the many miracles that took place there. We also read about the beginning of the Jewish people's 40-year trek in the desert. When the Torah describes a particular segment of the journey, the verse reads, "v'lo nacham Elokim...," which literally means, "and G-d did not lead them..." However, in the Midrash, an alternative reading is given: "and God was not comforted." The Midrash explains that although the Jewish people were free and their enemies were punished, G-d still felt the pain that the Jewish people had experienced. G-d loves us so much that He was not "getting over it."
G-d demonstrates His love for us by remembering our good deeds for many years after we perform them. For instance, Jeremiah tells us that G-d says that He will save the Jewish people because of their devotion to Him in the desert 1500 years earlier.
We may often find it hard to conjure up feelings of love for G-d. Rabbi Akiva Eiger points out that there is a prayer that we say daily right before the Shema which declares how much G-d loves us. When we contemplate how much G-d cares about us, it is then much easier to have those same feelings for Him.
G-d really does love us more than we love ourselves!
Have a great Shabbos and and Tu B'shvat!
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Rabbi Naftali Karp
Every week Rabbi Karp sends out thoughts about the weekly Torah portion. Enjoy!