Parashat Beshalach (When Pharaoh sent out the people)
This portion is well known, especially because it includes the crossing of the Red Sea.
There is a slight detail that makes the tale very interesting.
Before the crossing of the sea, Gd says to Moses: (Exodus 14:16) “As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it”
So Moses uses his staff and opens the sea. He starts with external help, the staff.
But… after crossing the sea, when he needs to finish the task, Gd says to Moses (Exodus 14:26): “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians”
When Moses needs to finish his task it is his responsibility, no external help…
We may need some help to start, but keeping things moving is our responsibility.
In memory of my beloved mother and teacher Miriam Rachel bat Israel Itzchak Z"L