A Powerful Insight from Rav Avrohom Trop zt”l


By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com

In next Erev Shabbos’s Daf HaYomi (Psachim 118a) and in the Hallel HaGadol of the Haggadah, we can present a very nice interpretation of HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Trop.  It is on the idea that the parnassa of a person are as difficult as Krias Yam Suf – the splitting of the sea.


Rav Shizvi said in the name of Rav Elazar ben Azaryah: The task of providing a person’s parnassah is as difficult as the splitting of the Red Sea, as it is says, “nosain lechem lechol basar – He gives food to all flesh” (Tehillim 136:25), and this is placed slightly after the pasuk (136:13): “legozer yam suf ligzarim – To Him who divided the Red Sea in sunder..”

The Rashbam, Rashi’s grandson, explains that the significance of this is, “in regard to seeking Divine mercy in prayer.”


Rav Avrohom Trop zt”l asks:  “Why did Rav Elazar Ben Azariah only compare it to the splitting of the sea?  There were many other miracles that exist in that very same section of the Tehillim, such as makas bechoros, Hashem accompanying them in the midbar, and striking down mighty kings!

Why only the splitting of the sea?


He answers that these two matters, krias yam suf and parnassah – share one idea.

Klal Yisroel as they were leaving Mitzrayim – thought that there was no need for miracles or prayer.  They had thought that they were going to travel by way of Derech Eretz Plishtim – a simple “hop,skip, and a jump” to Eretz Yisroel.  They were mistaken.  Hashem took them by way of the Midbar – cutting through the Yam Suf.  They truly needed a miracle.

By the same token, man plans and Hashem laughs.  People plan a career path or a business plan and think it is a “hop, skip, and a jump” to vast wealth and riches.  People think that there is no need to daven.[see appendix to Chiddushei HaLev Shmos].


The Rashbam is cluing us into an important lesson – which is the true underlying message of Rav Elazar Ben Azariah.  He writes that the significance of this is, “in regard to seeking Divine mercy in prayer.”

Let’s not make the error that it is a simple matter and we do not need a miracle or earnest prayer.  We do in all matters of parnassah.


HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Trop zt”l (1897-1978) was the son of HaGaon HaRav Naftoli Trop zt”l one of the most famous Roshei Yeshiva in Europe. He was a  Rosh Yeshiva in the Chofetz Chaim’s Yeshiva in Radin in 1929 – taking his father’s position there.  During the holocaust, he and his family were exiled to Siberia under the Russians.  Eventually, the family emigrated to the United States.  In the early 1960’s, Rav Avrohom was appointed the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Karlin-Stolin in Brooklyn, New York.  In 1977, he moved to Yerushalayim.  He passed away a few months later, on the 5th of Adar Sheni in 1978. He is buried on Har HaZeisim.

Rav Avrohom Trop zt”l has three wonderful great-granddaughters in the Goldstone family, who live in Far Rockaway and are Machon Sarah TAG students and alumnus.

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