The Medrash says that when the Jews at the Exodus were confronted at the Sea with the Egyptians at their heels, they split up into 4 opinions:
- Give up and go back to Egypt.
- Fight the Egyptians and win our Freedom.
- Return is not an option, it’s a war we won’t win, let’s just drown in the Reeds Sea.
- Let’s turn to G-d in Prayer.
G-d’s Response: None of the Above. Tell the Children of Israel, “Travel Onward (into the Sea)!”
The Rebbe has a beautiful and inspiring talk illustrating that while each of the above responses are valid and appropriate in many of life’s challenges, many a time it is rising above the challenge, and forging forward through it, and despite it, that causes the challenges to cease or lessen as we journey through life. For more of the Rebbe’s talk on this see Yanki Tauber’s excellent “The Four Factions” adaption on chabad.org.
The 7th of Passover is the yartzeit of my cousin Yossi Zaklos, who passed away on this date in the first year of our (Raizy and I) marriage when he was only 19 years old. The way I remember him, Yossi epitomized this 5th option. He was valiant, driven, motivated, and sweet, full of light and dedication. In the Chassidic lingo he was “Lechatchila Ariber!” which means: sail right over any obstacles, don’t let them pull you down or hold you back. He just kept going forward until he couldn’t anymore.