Exodus 17:7
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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

ז  וַיִּקְרָא שֵׁם הַמָּקוֹם מַסָּה וּמְרִיבָה עַל־רִיב בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל נַסֹּתָם אֶת־יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר הֲיֵשׁ יְהֹוָה בְּקִרְבֵּנוּ אִם־אָיִן׃

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 nature 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.

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Exodus 17
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Comment ( 1 )

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  • Why is it that we think that Hashem is not among us when things go wrong! He is even closer in those times, Psalm 23 comes to mind, 'Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, even there you are with me'. I read a book so years ago, cannot remember the title but the writer said that in the valleys we learn about Hashem's goodness and provision. It's the place where we grown, Manure rolls on the mountains and rests in the valleys, and in the natural manure makes the soil richer and the fruit sweeter. On the mountains we enjoy the pleasure of Hashem's mercy in and on our lives.

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Exodus 17:7

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