Az Yashir: You Shatter Your Opponents
וברב גאונך תהרס קמיך
In Your abundant grandeur, You shatter Your opponents…
Based on the siddur of HaRav Avigdor Miller zt”l, we explained early on in the Az Yashir series that the purpose of the astounding miracles that Hashem performed at Y’tzias Mitzrayim and K’rias Yam Suf was to build, strengthen, and increase our emunah to such an extent that it would remain with us. Our pasuk this week is one of the primary sources from which HaRav Miller derives his point. He learns that the first letter “veis” in the word “וברב–u’v’rov” means “for the sake of.” For the word “תהרס–taharos” – which means to overthrow – HaRav Miller explains it to mean “forcefully and suddenly.”
Hashem could have destroyed the Egyptians in many ways that would have not attracted as much attention and awareness of His greatness. But Hashem specifically chose to perform many astounding miracles to destroy the Mitzriyim forcefully and suddenly for the express purpose of granting us this great gift of greater and more sustainable emunah and awareness of His power and of His love of B’nei Yisrael.
The suddenness of a total reversal from our enemies being powerful and successful to them being suddenly wiped out is a powerful reminder of the love Hashem has for us and of His constant overseeing of every detail of our lives. This has been a recurring theme throughout our history. Purim is one example: One day, Haman is on top of the world and gleefully looking forward to the day marked on the calendar for our destruction; the next day, he and his sons are hanged and his power and wealth are turned over to B’nei Yisrael. Chanukah is another example: It looks like we are doomed and, against all odds, we suddenly and miraculously emerge victorious. In recent history, the Six-Day War is yet another example.
We also can experience sudden reversal and salvation in our own lives. Often we are “stuck” in a troubling situation; and then, one day, there is a sudden dramatic reversal that can change our lives. I have a cousin who, after many years, was terminated from his job at a bank. He was out of work for almost a year and was having a very difficult time. Then, one day, he got a job at another bank. I don’t recall exactly how much time later, but it was a relatively short time later that the bank was bought out. As a result, he received a severance package that enabled him to completely retire at the age of 53 – from one of the lowest points in his life to a sudden high point, a major life-changing event.
May we, b’ezras Hashem, witness our final salvation and redemption – suddenly and speedily in our day. “ישועת ה' כהרף עין–Y’shuas Hashem k’heref ayin (Hashem’s salvation can take place in the blink of an eye).”