The day that seals the seven days of Passover and is termed Shvi’i shel Pessah (Seventh of Passover), which begins this year on Thursday evening and ends on Friday night, is different from the other days of the holiday in that it is a yom tov – a special day in which melacha (certain types of activities) are forbidden, as on the first day of Passover.We will hear The Song of the Sea read in the synagogue.This is the song sung by the People of Israel under the direction of Moses after the great miracle of the parting of the Red Sea. The miracle occurred on this day – seven days after we were liberated from Egypt.The parting of the Red Sea is undoubtedly the biggest and most impressive of the miracles in the Exodus.It was preceded by many impressive events, such as the Ten Plagues, which we related at the Seder. But at the last moment, after the nation was already liberated from slavery in Egypt and was on its way to freedom, the former masters recanted. Pharaoh, along with the Egyptian army, which was among the strongest in the world at that time, chased the Jewish nation and caught up to it as it was camped at the edge of the Red Sea.The situation was dire – the sea on one side and the Egyptian army on the other. If we try to imagine ourselves in the same situation, we will sense the despair they must have felt then. In this desperate state, the nation turns to Moses with harsh words.“Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us to die in the desert? What is this that you have done to us to take us out of Egypt? Isn’t this the thing [about] which we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone, and we will serve the Egyptians, because we would rather serve the Egyptians than die in the desert!’” (Exodus 14:11-12). With these hard and bitter words, the nation expressed its spreading desperation. “We would have preferred,” they said, “to have remained slaves in Egypt rather than be slaughtered here, in the desert, by the Egyptian army!” Then a miracle occurred – a miracle of inconceivable measure. The sea was parted into two and exposed dry ground, creating a comfortable passageway for the Jewish nation. And if that were not enough – when the Egyptian army stepped onto the land that was created in the midst of the sea and chased the People of Israel, the water immediately returned to its place, covering the Egyptians and drowning them – all this right before the eyes of the People of Israel.Rabbi Ya’acov Ba’al Haturim, the great rabbinical authority who lived in the 13th century in Germany and in the 14th century in Spain and authored Arba’a Turim, a key book of Halacha (Jewish law), notes in his commentary on the Torah that the People of Israel merited this impressive miracle because of Abraham’s dedication at the binding of Isaac. These words cause us to take a new look at the story.The binding of Isaac is the Jewish nation’s founding, establishing story. Abraham, who when he was a very old man was privileged to have a son to continue his path, suddenly receives a puzzling directive from God.He must sacrifice his son on an altar! This appalling directive was never meant to be carried out, as the Torah notes at the beginning of the story “And the Lord tried Abraham.” It was always meant to be a trial. Indeed, at the last moment, God instructs Abraham, “Do not stretch forth your hand to the lad, nor do the slightest thing to him.” But Abraham had proven that he could stand the trial. With superhuman courage, he was prepared to obey God’s commandment to sacrifice his only son.The dedication displayed by Abraham in the binding of Isaac was passed on to his descendants. Throughout the years, under unbearable conditions, the Jews courageously withstood similar trials, preferring to die rather than surrender their faith.A spark of this dedication and sacrifice for a cause was seen also at the parting of the Red Sea. Our sages tell of one man, Nahshon ben Aminadab who was there with the entire nation and was not caught up in the despair.Nahshon sensed the same distress. He saw the Egyptian army advancing and saw the sea before him and he made a decision. He jumped into the stormy waters. The waters reached his chest and he kept on going. The water reached his nose and he was about to drown, but he kept trying to swim. Then the miracle occurred. The sea parted.This sort of courage is almost supernatural. No man can plan such an act in advance. The place from which this sort of dedication emerges is deep inside us. This kind of courage lives deep in our hearts and comes out in our most difficult moments. The parting of the Red Sea demonstrated God’s dedication and love for the People of Israel and is overtly supernatural.No one predicted or planned this miracle. Even if they thought redemption would come from somewhere, no one thought the sea would part. There is a clear connection between the binding of Isaac, in which Abraham displayed supernatural dedication to the will of God, and the parting of the Red Sea, which displays the same sort of dedication, but in reverse – God’s to the People of Israel.It is no wonder then that it is said, “It is as difficult to pair man (and wife) as the parting of the Red Sea.” Many of us realize that our pairings came from an unpredictable source. We thought our partners would appear to us naturally from a certain source and suddenly they came from an unexpected place. In this way, our pairings are similar to the parting of the Red Sea. The writer is the rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites.