Yizkor Service Sermon from Cantor Katzman

You may be familiar with the Biblical character Nachshon. We know little about him from the Torah other than his lineage and station. It was a Midrash that catapulted this obscure character to enduring popularity. The rabbis of old credit him with leading the Children of Israel into the parting waters of the Sea of Reeds during the exodus from Egypt. They imagine that the Israelites were paralyzed with fear, and that Moses, halted by the watery depths confronting them, seemed unable to move them toward safety. Nachshon alone plunged into the water, says the Talmud, and THAT’S when the sea began to part. In a moment of abject terror, Nachshon was able to move forward and bring everyone else with him. There is an old Jewish expression: “Be Nachshon.” Be the first one to step up and get others moving in the right direction. To be able to martial that kind of inspiration and courage requires an array of qualities. One essential characteristic is the ability to see clearly what is at hand.