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Just stretch out your hand

Last night a friend who runs an amazing organization for goodness reached out to me to vent his frustration. He’s talented, capable, energetic with some pretty amazing ideas floating around in his head but he simply can't break out of the routine of managing the organization to actually get them done. He got me thinking about the infinite amount of amazing ideas that never happen simply because reality dictates we don’t have the time, money, headspace or emotional energy to succeed. In this week’s parsha Shemos we learn how Pharaoh ordered all newborn Jewish baby boys cast in the Nile River. Despair engulfed the nation even at the pinnacle of its leadership, but the five year old Miriam prophesied to her father Amram that if he would not discourage his fellow Jews from having children, the next child born in their family would be the redeemer. Moshe was born shortly afterwards but his survival hung in the balance as the Egyptians were tenaciously tracking down all the babies and drowning them. When she could hide him no longer, his mother converted a small basket into a floating device and set her newborn son adrift in the Nile River, hoping for the best. Well aware that the future of Judaism hung in the balance as the destined redeemer floated aimlessly in the water, vulnerable and defenseless, Miriam hid at the riverbank to see what would happen to her brother. Pharaoh’s daughter Batya came to the river to bathe and noticed the basket from afar. She intuited that it contained a baby in danger but was too far to rescue it on her own, and the basket and the baby kept drifting further and further away. Batya had every reason to give up the rescue operation. Aside from the fact that she would surely incur her father’s wrath for disobeying his decree, physics dictated that she could not save the baby since the basket was too far away and there was no one she could summon to help. All her options were doomed for failure. Nevertheless, she stretched out her hand towards the basket and miraculously her arm stretched the enormous distance to reach the basket and when it contracted to its original size, she held the basket in her lap with the baby safe and sound. The future redeemer of Israel had been saved. Simply put, the exodus only happened because Batya had the courage to stretch out her hand even when it made no sense. The next time you feel compelled to do something good but the facts tell you it cannot be done - be like Batya and courageously stretch out your hand. Do all you can do in the proper direction and G-d will take care of the rest. Most importantly please realize that the one Mitzvah you do today can be the one to tip the scales and bring redemption to the entire world when peace and tranquility will reign for all. Doesn’t make sense? Learn from Batya.

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