It says in the Pasuk (Shemos 14:31 Beshalach)

וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה בְּמִצְרַיִם וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם אֶת יְהֹוָה וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בַּיהֹוָה וּבְמשֶׁה עַבְדּוֹ

And Israel saw the great hand, which the Lord had used upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in Moses, His servant.

Why is it that Klal Yisrael first saw what HaShem did, feared, and then had faith? Normally once a person sees they don't need to have Emunah as well. They saw already!

According to the different levels on which one can understand the Torah (P'shat, Remez, Drush, and Sod) how can this question be answered? (Please don't limit or hold back any answers that fall into any of the understandings of the Torah.)

  • Maybe it was placed there because you would have thought they had already believed before, קמ"ל...
    – b a
    Jan 27, 2013 at 22:19

2 Answers 2


From the "Kehos Chumash", based on Derech Mitzvoshecha Mitzvas Ha'amanas Elokus:

Generally, after seeing something, we no longer need to accept it on faith. If so, after seeing God's great hand, why did the Jewish people still need to believe in God and Moses? The answer is that once they had seen and validated what they had previously only believed in, they were able to "upgrade" their belief and believe in that which remained beyond what they had seen; they believed in what they had not seen.

The potential to do this is infinite. We struggle to perceive what we currently believe; when we succeed in doing so, we realize that there is still more about God to believe in. In this way we perpetually broaden the horizons of our faith and our capacity to relate to God on ever-higher levels


This is my own drash (no sources).

Seeing wasn't enough, because seeing tells you only what God has done for you. It doesn't say anything about the future. So they need to also have faith.

Further, the text here tells us that they had faith in God and in Moshe, his servant. God is God and is thus worthy of faith, but that doesn't automatically transfer to God's appointed servant. (It also apparently didn't stick, but that's a different matter...)

So, first off, faith isn't automatic, and second, even if it were, the text tells us an additional thing about their faith in Moshe, so it needs to be mentioned for that. (Certainly we wouldn't want the text to only say they had faith in Moshe, and not also in God, which could leave open the question of their faith in God!)

  • So, Torah produces Emunah, no?
    – ninamag
    Sep 7, 2017 at 13:09

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