The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.
R' Frand began his vort by first quoting a Gemara in Chullin in which R' Pinchas Ben Yair is en route to ransom captives when he reaches a roaring river. He asked the river to split to allow him to cross. The river responded to him - we each have jobs. You are going to ransom captives and my job is to flow. You may not be successful, but there is no doubt that my job will be done,
Nonetheless, R' Pinchas Ben Yair convinced the river to split. He then saw another man on the other side of the river who needed to cross in order to bake matzos. He asked the river to split so that the man could go and bake the matzos and it did.
There was also a non-Jewish man who accompanied them who needed to cross. R' Pinchas asked the river to split for this man too, as it would not be right that river only split for Jews. The river complied with this request as well.
An observer then said - R' Pinchas was greater than Moshe and the 600,000 Jews who left Egypt with him as the Yam Suf only split once for him. The Gemara then amended the story to say that the river split once and was open for all three people.
R' Frand then quoted a story involving R' Tzvi Hirsch M'Ziditschov (sp?) who was a great kabbalist and was nicknamed the Sar Beis HaZohar. He once wrote down a schedule of his daily activities and gave it to Chozeh M'Lublin to review and comment as to the tasks and their times. The Chozeh looked at the list and wrote Lav Davka (not necessarily) next to every task and time slot. R' Tzvi Hirsch was confounded - how could that be for every activity? The Chozeh explained - you think that you need to this task at this time, but maybe Hashem has another plan for you at that very moment.
The Tolner Rebbi applied the story to the Gemara to explain why the river split. Even though the river's tafkid was to flow, however even for the river there is a time when Hashem needs it not to do what it is programmed to do, and that was when R' Pinchas needed to cross.
R' Frand noted that there is another version of the Pinchas Ben Yair story in the Yerushalmi in Demai. The story has an epilogue wherein R' Pinchas' students approach him and ask whether they can attempt the same miracle. He told them - if you have never harmed or embarrassed another Jew then you can achieve this, but if not you will be unsuccessful.
R' Frand quoted R' Elya Baruch Finkel who explained the Yerushalmi as dealing withe a person as a Tzelem Elokim - in the image of Hashem. A person can achieve this and cause the river to stop if he is like Hashem. However if he has harmed another then he is not like Hashem and he is not worthy of having the river stop for him.
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