By Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
When you get a chance, take a look at the website www.stumbleupon.com. This cool website allows you to select your interests and randomly stumble onto websites within that genre. Recently I stumbled upon “Tips and Tactics of the Mossad”. Tactical Strategy #472 was about hand-to-hand combat in the dark. If you are in a dark room with the enemy the safest place you can be is against the wall. As quick as you can, make your way to the outer perimeter of the room, this way you can use the wall to help guide you in combat.
I figured that if the Mossad is essentially a Jewish entity then I assume they picked this up from our Torah.
In this weeks’ portion, as the Jewish people are about to cross the Great Sea, they look back, and see to their amazement, in the distance, chariots and horses; an entire legion of Egyptians catching up to them. Suddenly, G-d brings out this mystical cloud. The cloud provides, on one hand, a serene radiance for the Jewish people and total blinding darkness for the Egyptians. This verse concludes with the words: “ולא קרב זה אל זה”. They could not come close to each other.
Why weren’t the Egyptians able to come close? There was no wall between them, only a difference in lighting? The Seforno (14:20) answers “ולא קרב זה אל זה”- Because in the dark, people move slowly for they don’t know upon what they may stumble.
Darkness creates confusion. But it only creates confusion for those who are not guided by some greater knowledge or light (in the Mossad example this is the wall). In a world filled with darkness, confusion, and often chaos we are given a light. תורה אור. The Torah is light. And in a sense, even deeper – we carry that light – as it says in Mishlei “Ner Hashem Nishmas Adam.” The candle of G-d is the soul of Man.
Originally appears on YUTorah