I saw the following in the Sefer of the Tolner Rebbe Shlita in the name of the Chiddushei HaRim. Chazal point out the grammatical problem with the pasuke “Az yashir Moshe u’Bnei Yisrael es haShirah hazos l’Hashem” [Then Moshe and the Children of Israel WILL sing this song to Hashem] [Shmos 15:1], which seemingly is speaking in the future tense, when in fact the past tense should have been employed in describing what took place. The Rabbis cite this pasuk as one of the Biblical allusions to the Resurrection of the Dead (Techiyas haMeisim).
Why here? Why is specifically this used to provide a hidden allusion to the concept of Techiyas haMeisim in the Torah?
The Tolner Rebbe answers this question based on a second question. If you study the text of the Shira, you see that the opening pasukim speak of G-d in the third person: “A horse and its rider He threw into the sea”; “Pharaoh’s chariots and army He cast into the sea.” Then, suddenly in pasuk 6, the style switches and G-d is addressed in the second person: “Your right hand, Hashem, is majestic in might;” “…You devastate your opponents; You send forth Your wrath…”
Why does the Torah switch from third person to second person? The Zohar states that Klal Yisrael went through a transformation here. The transformation was that they started Kriyas Yam Suf with a basic belief (Emuna) in the Master of the World. However when they experienced Kriyas Yam Suf and they saw the Revealed Hand of G-d, their belief changed into a reality! [The Rabbis comment that a common handmaiden on Yam Suf saw visions greater than the great prophet Yechezkel.] Previously, belief was just a concept. It was “third person” (detached). By the time they experienced Krias Yam Suf and saw the Hand of G-d, it was a reality: I can point: This is my G-d.
If that’s the case, at this time Klal Yisrael was devoid of Emuna. There was no question of belief anymore. It was reality. The Master of the Universe said “I want to still give you the opportunity to believe – to use faith to believe in something you have not yet witnessed! What’s that? Techiyas HaMeisim – the fact that everyone will die but everyone will also come back!” That was not yet reality, it was still in the realm of Emuna.
When BELIEF in the Almighty was no longer possible because it became REALITY, the Jewish people were given the promise of Resurrection (Az Yashir Moshe U’Bnei Yisrael…) to provide them with a concept about which they could have Emuna (belief).
People say "seeing is believing". That is not true. If one sees he doesn't have to believe. To believe is NOT TO SEE and to still believe.
A second answer to this same question comes from the Belzer Rebbe, zt”l, cited by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetsky. When the Belzer Rebbe tried to gather his people together after World War II, he saw that the Chassidim — most of them Holocaust survivors who had lost large portions of their families — were in no mood to sing Zemiros on Shabbos.
The Belzer Rebbe posed this question to his Chassidim: Why specifically now at the time of the splitting of the Sea were the Jewish people taught the Biblical allusion to the concept of Resurrection (Techiyas haMeisim)?
The Belzer Rebbe explained: Realize that when the Jewish people sang the Song of the Sea, the entire nation was not present. How many people did not survive the enslavement of Egypt? How many survivors had lost the majority of their families in Egypt who had never lived to see the day of the Exodus? According to Chazal, 80% of the Jews died in Egypt. It is safe to say that everyone who did make it out of Egypt had lost relatives and could not therefore fully celebrate the miracles they were witnessing at that time.
Moshe Rabbeinu told them “It is time to sing.” But they responded, “Sing? How can we be happy? Eighty percent of Klal Yisrael is missing!” Moshe then explained that we have an allusion to the resurrection of the dead from this very place in the Torah: We will get your relatives back! The knowledge that the dead will rise and come back is very consoling.
Not long ago, I read the story of a woman who lost her only son in the War (Shalom HaGalil) in Lebanon. She was inconsolable. She refused to go to any family simchas. She would only go to funerals. She was a widow who lost her only son, “what joy is there any more in life?” She once went to a family levaya. A woman accompanied her to the cemetery. Following the burial, they stopped at the grave site of Reb Aryeh Levine (The Tzadik of Yerushalayim: A Tzadik In Our Time) to say Tehillim. On Reb Aryeh Levine’s tombstone, she saw the following written: Anyone who comes to pray at my grave should first say ‘I believe with a complete faith that Resurrection of the dead will transpire when it is the Will of G-d, blessed be He that this will happen.’ The woman read that and it touched a chord. Suddenly, it became a reality to her that “one day I will get my son back.” From that moment on, she began to live her life again because the hope that there will be Techiyas haMeisim consoled her.
Last Sunday, I had to fly to St. Louis for a wedding. I was sitting in the aisle seat with the seat next to me empty. The window seat was taken by an older woman with a box of tissues. She kept on blowing her nose. I was thinking to myself “I am going to catch a cold after this flight.” The plane took off and I noticed that the woman was wiping her eyes also. I thought to myself, maybe she doesn’t have a cold, she’s crying!
The stewardess came down and sat in the middle seat and started talking with her, at which point the woman broke down and cried loudly. The stewardess tried to console her. Apparently Southwest Airlines was alerted that this woman had some kind of problem. The stewardess left. The woman continued to cry the whole time.
I said to her, “This is none of my business, but what is bothering you?” She told me, “I found out this morning that my daughter was killed in a car crash and I am on the way to her funeral. My only other child, my son, was killed in Iraq two months ago!” She was inconsolable. I asked her, “Is there anything I can do for you?” She said, “Just pray for me.”
The knowledge of “From here there is a Biblical allusion to Techiyas HaMeisim” – the idea that one day we will again see the relatives whom we so dearly miss, is a very consoling thought. That is what rejuvenated the Belzer Chassidim who were Holocaust survivors and that is what consoled the woman at the grave site of Reb Aryeh Levine — one day she will see her son again and she can therefore go on living her life.