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    The letters of
    of one, אל-הים
    the Names of
    Hashem, can
    be rearranged
    – מי אלה spell to
    “who are these?”
    These two arrangements of the
    letters represent two different
    ways we can look at the world and
    at things that happen in life. One
    way is to wonder, אלה מי” – What
    is all this?! What’s going on?!”
    This is the reaction of feeling
    overwhelmed and anxious by everything we see going on around
    The other reaction is to see אל
    הים ,-to recognize that everything
    is just a piece in a perfectlydesigned puzzle put together by
    Hashem. We might not be able
    to see how everything fits. It
    might not make any sense to us.
    But even so, we must try to feel
    truly to, מי אלה of instead אל-הים
    believe that Hashem is behind
    everything that takes place, and
    everything is exactly the way it’s
    supposed to be.
    When Moshe confronted Pharaoh the first time, and relayed to
    him Hashem’s command that He
    let Beneh Yisrael out of Egypt,
    Pharaoh responded, ’ה מי” – Who
    is Hashem?” He felt confident
    and invincible. He thought he
    controlled everything. The process of the plagues was meant to
    break this feeling of invincibility and make Pharaoh realize that
    only Hashem is in charge.
    At the end of last week’s parashah, Parashat Vaera, it seemed
    for a brief moment that this was
    successful. After seven plagues,
    Pharaoh finally admitted, חטאתי
    I… – “ה‘ הצדיק- ואני ועמי- הרשעים
    have sinned; Hashem is the righteous one, and I and my nation are
    wicked.” The message finally got
    through to his mind.
    But this didn’t last. As soon as
    the seventh plague – the plague of
    hail – ended, Pharaoh continued
    defying Hashem.
    In the beginning of Parashat
    Bo, Hashem tells Moshe that He
    would be bringing more plagues,
    that so – למען שתי אותותי- אלה בקרבו
    these miracles would be placed
    within Pharaoh. The message of
    אלה ,that all the different things
    that happen in the world are all
    part of Hashem’s plan, needed to
    enter קרבו ,the fiber of Pharaoh’s
    being. He understood it in his
    mind, but now it had to reach his
    The Titanic was built to be the
    greatest, most invincible ship ever
    built, but it is now synonymous
    with human error and tragedy.
    Lou Gehrig was called the “Iron
    Horse” for his durability, but now
    the cruel, deadly disease that took
    his life is named after him. Kobe
    Bryant was one of the most successful and well-respected professional athletes in the world, and
    he was killed in a crash. These
    are all terrible tragedies, and it
    goes without saying that we can
    never claim to know why Hashem
    caused them to happen. But when
    things like this occur, they remind
    us that אלה מי is really הים-אל ,that
    only Hashem runs the world.
    The current pandemic, hopefully, will have the effect of bringing
    this message בקרבנו ,within our
    hearts and souls. If before this
    crisis we knew in our minds that
    Hashem controls the world, the
    extraordinary events of the past
    year should instill this belief deep
    within our beings. And when we
    feel deep within our beings that
    Hashem controls everything, and
    nothing happens by chance, we
    can live with greater confidence
    and calm, fully trusting that no
    matter what is going on around us
    or going on in our lives, we are
    being cared for by Hashem. May
    this emunah serve to inspire us,
    uplift us, encourage us, and reassure us that we are under Hashem’s loving care at all times.