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I heard from one of my rebbeim that the inifinite God has an infinite amount of ways of performing any given task. With that in mind, it is interesting to note that twice in the Tanach, God splits the sea: once when the Children of Israel leave Egypt and once when they enter the Land of Israel. (The second instance wasn't a sea, but the Jordan River, but I'm sure you understand what I'm saying.) Why did God choose to perform this particular miracle twice?

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    Don't have a source offhand, but recall hearing somewhere that the two events were specifically intended to slightly mirror each other, to show to Bnei Yisrael that Moshe and Yehoshua were both qualified and selected by Hashem to lead Bnei Yisrael. – Salmononius2 Jun 18 '18 at 14:54
  • @Salmononius2 I recall that as well. But even if a meforash doesn't mention this, that's a great chiddush nonetheless. – ezra Jun 18 '18 at 16:23
  • And for Dasan and Aviram acc to some – sam Jun 18 '18 at 16:51
  • The first occurrence seems pretty obvious. B'nai Yisra'el was trapped with the Egyptians coming straight at them and their only escape route was the sea. How els could they have travelled? As for Joshua, I understood that, in general, Hashem wanted to demonstrate as much as possible that Joshua was like Moshe and there were many similarities, which included the splitting of waters. Also, here, what other way was there for getting to the other side, unless he wanted everyone to swim. – DanF Jun 18 '18 at 17:34
  • I don't think I understand the premise. According to it, God also has an infinite number of ways to split a sea, and it looks like he implemented one in each of the instances you bring up. Conversely, people have abilities to do multiple things in multiple ways. ברוך השם. Could the question not equally be asked about any instance of anybody doing the same one twice? – WAF Jun 18 '18 at 17:38
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Avot Derav Nattan 33:2 implies that splitting the sea was one of the demands that B'nai Yisra'el asked of Moshe when they were at the sea.

Moshe repeatedly said to them - "Arise and cross". Each time , they demanded some condition for crossing. One of them was that the sea should be divided into multiple parts.

It seems, then, that God was responding to their demands.

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Both times it happened after Bney Yisroel circumcised - first in Egypt before the Exodus and the second before entering the Holy Land (the didn't circumcise in the wilderness).

Passing thru the split sea symbolized immersing in Mikve, which is the second part of converting to Judaism for the whole nation. This represents (Kabbalicly) a rebirth or starting a new life.

Source - כתבי אריז"ל cited in בית גנזי על התורה by R' Rafoel Moshe Luria Z"L

  • Where in Kisvei Arizal? – DonielF Jul 16 '18 at 0:01
  • @DonielF It is cited in בית גנזי על התורה פ' בשלח. – Al Berko Jul 16 '18 at 12:45
  • Once again, could you please edit that into your post - or, better yet, if you could track down a link to that, could you please edit that in as well? – DonielF Jul 16 '18 at 13:28
  • but they didnt get wet. how did that work? – ray Jul 16 '18 at 20:53
  • @ray they didn't drown either B"H :) All those are metaphorical explanations, meaning one does not have to perform the act exactly, only to hint "as if it was that". They didn't need a conversion and it was all symbolic (this is what Kabbalah is about). – Al Berko Jul 17 '18 at 13:45

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