1 From the wilderness of Sin the whole Israelite community continued by stages as Hashem would command. They encamped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.
א וַיִּסְעוּ כָּל־עֲדַת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּדְבַּר־סִין לְמַסְעֵיהֶם עַל־פִּי יְהוָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בִּרְפִידִים וְאֵין מַיִם לִשְׁתֹּת הָעָם׃
ב וַיָּרֶב הָעָם עִם־מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמְרוּ תְּנוּ־לָנוּ מַיִם וְנִשְׁתֶּה וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם מֹשֶׁה מַה־תְּרִיבוּן עִמָּדִי מַה־תְּנַסּוּן אֶת־יְהוָה׃
ג וַיִּצְמָא שָׁם הָעָם לַמַּיִם וַיָּלֶן הָעָם עַל־מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמֶר לָמָּה זֶּה הֶעֱלִיתָנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם לְהָמִית אֹתִי וְאֶת־בָּנַי וְאֶת־מִקְנַי בַּצָּמָא׃
4 Moshe cried out to Hashem, saying, “What shall I do with this people? Before long they will be stoning me!”
ד וַיִּצְעַק מֹשֶׁה אֶל־יְהוָה לֵאמֹר מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה לָעָם הַזֶּה עוֹד מְעַט וּסְקָלֻנִי׃
ה וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה עֲבֹר לִפְנֵי הָעָם וְקַח אִתְּךָ מִזִּקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמַטְּךָ אֲשֶׁר הִכִּיתָ בּוֹ אֶת־הַיְאֹר קַח בְּיָדְךָ וְהָלָכְתָּ׃
ו הִנְנִי עֹמֵד לְפָנֶיךָ שָּׁם עַל־הַצּוּר בְּחֹרֵב וְהִכִּיתָ בַצּוּר וְיָצְאוּ מִמֶּנּוּ מַיִם וְשָׁתָה הָעָם וַיַּעַשׂ כֵּן מֹשֶׁה לְעֵינֵי זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
7 The place was named Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and because they tried Hashem, saying, “Is Hashem present among us or not?”
va-yik-RA SHAYM ha-ma-KOM ma-SAH um-ree-VAH al REEV b’-NAY yis-ra-AYL v’-AL na-so-TAM et a-do-NAI lay-MOR ha-YAYSH a-do-NAI b’-kir-BAY-nu im A-yin
17:7 Is Hashem present among us or not?
The People of Israel are not questioning their faith in Hashem. Rather, they are wondering to what extent He is involved in their everyday lives. In Egypt, and in other civilizations at that time, God was understood as a static force, and natured as governed by unchanging rules. The newly freed Children of Israel are therefore questioning God’s involvement in their day-to-day affairs. In turn, Hashem is educating the Nation about His supremacy and control over nature and all the workings of the world. Not only did Hashem create water, but He also controls its supply, providing it or withholding it as He sees fit. This message becomes embedded in the psyche of the Chosen Nation and its practical application bears fruit in the Chosen Land where the Jews pray daily to God for water and see His active involvement in everyday life.1 comment
12 But Moshe’ hands grew heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it, while Aharon and Chur, one on each side, supported his hands; thus his hands remained steady until the sun set.
15 And Moshe built a mizbayach and named it Adonai-nissi.
טו וַיִּבֶן מֹשֶׁה מִזְבֵּחַ וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ יְהוָה נִסִּי׃