Beshalach – He will remember

The Gemara in Maseches Sotah (13a) tells us a story about Moshe on our way out of Mitzrayim. Moshe wanted to fulfill the oath to bring up the bones of Yosef from Egypt. Only one person was alive who remembered their location, Serach the daughter of Asher. She sent Moshe to the Nile river in which the coffin of Yosef was sunk. Moshe said, “Yosef, Yosef. The time has come, God is fulfilling his promise that He swore, ‘I will redeem you,’ and the oath which you imposed upon the Bnei Yisrael has reached the time of fulfillment. If you show yourself, great. If not, we are absolved of your oath.” Immediately Yosef’s coffin floated to the surface of the water.

Yosef told his brothers that “Pakod Yifkod – God will remember you and bring you out of Egypt. You shall then take my bones with you.”(13:19) The words Pakod Yifkod are a bit strange because literally translated it means: Remember, He [God] will remember. The Midrash (Shemos Rabbah 3:8) tells us that Pakod Yifkod is like a secret code word that Hashem will use when he redeems us. Like a secret agent would say to his other secret agent buddy, yet this secret code word was far from secret. Everyone in the Jewish nation knew the code word, so why not just say it straight out? It’s not like we were keeping this whole redemption thing under wraps. What good is a code word that everyone knows?

For perhaps we can think of Pakod Yifkod more as a motto for our lives. Pakod Yifkod is how we can live in this galus, this world of darkness – through all the challenges and obstacles we may face, we can think to this motto; Pakod Yifkod – Remember, He [God] will remember. That no matter how far we have gone, no matter how far we may think God is from us, Pakod Yifkod – we must remember that He will remember us. No matter how bleak a situation may look, no matter how big the obstacle we face we must remember that He will remember. He will remember us, and throw us a rope to escape our galus, to escape our obstacles, to escape our troubles. Just like He remembered us in Egypt and redeemed us then, He will redeem us now. The only thing we have to remember is that He will remember. Pakod Yifkod. Don’t forget, that no matter how dark this world may seem all that darkness will be instantly dispelled by Gods great light.

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