http://revach.net/article.php?id=4914

Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Life Lessons
Parshas Bishalach - Rav Eizek Sher - Why Did The Water In Mara Need To Be Bitter?

After they left the Yam Suf, Bnei Yisrael traveled three days without water. Then they arrived at Marah, and the water was bitter and undrinkable. They complained to Moshe who threw a bitter tree into the water and then it became sweet and they all drank. Every story the Torah tells us has a lesson and a purpose. What was the purpose of this whole episode?

Rav Eizek Sher explains as follows. "Krias Yam Suf was totally unnecessary. Hashem however made incredible Nissim to show His great love for Klal Yisrael. Bnei Yisrael responded and followed the Anan Hashem for three days in the Midbar without any water and without any complaint. Their dveykus in Hashem was all they needed.

When they arrived at Marah they saw water that was bitter. They asked, 'Ma Nishteh,' meaning why should we drink? 'Why must we be human, whay can't we just continue to be Malachim satisfying all our needs in our Kirva, our closeness, to Hashem?'

Hashem told Moshe to throw the bitter tree into the water and it became sweet. Hashem showed them that people are greater than Malachim. A Malach has no gashmiyus and no nisyonos. No trials and no tests. A person goes through life of constant challenges and bitter experiences. When we throw these into a dark world where Hashem is hidden, we turn bitter into sweet and darkness into light. That is our job and that is what makes us superior to Malachim."