As Bnei Yisrael seem to be trapped between the Egyptians and the sea - with no way out - HaShem commands Moshe (14:16) ‘lift up (harem) your stick and stretch your hand over the sea and split it…’ Indeed, the sea split, the Jews safely crossed (the Egyptians did not) - and the rest is history. But why was Moshe told to lift his stick over the sea - HaShem did not need an angled stick in order to perform the miracle, so why was this necessary for or related to the miracle? The Kli Yakar answers that the word harem does not mean ‘lift up’ in this context, but rather ‘take away/remove.’ He goes on to explain that the Egyptians were clinging on to their false belief (hope) that without Moshe’s stick HaShem could not perform any miracles. Thus, in order to make it clear for the Egyptians that the miracles had nothing to do with the stick, Moshe was told to put the stick away for this one. It was precisely because the splitting of the sea was the greatest miracle - and Divine revelation - of all the plagues that the stick had to be put away here. One lesson to take out of this is what desperation can do to someone’s mind; the Egyptians still wanted to believe the ludicrous idea that the staff was performing the miracles - not HaShem - because that would be easier than changing themselves, their beliefs, and their value systems.

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