In this week's parsha, Yisro, before the giving of the Torah, it says, "and Israel camped (singular) there, towards the mountain." Rashi highlights the word, "and Israel camped there," and explains, "Like one man with one heart, but all the other encampments were with strife, and arguments."
In parshas Beshalach, it says, "And the Children of Israel lifted their eyes and behold Egypt was chasing (singular) after them." Rashi highlights the words, "chasing after them," and explains, "With one heart like one man."
it's clear that since the Torah says it in the singular, we know that they were united. And because it says, "there," we know that they were united only there and nowhere else, because it didn't have to say "there," it could have said, "and Israel camped towards the mountain," and we would have understood.
What is the difference between Israel and Egypt that Rashi chooses to rearrange his words, by Israel he says, "like one man with one heart," and by Egypt he says, "with one heart like one man."?
Rashi is known for choosing his words very carefully, including the words of the verse he chooses to highlight. It begs the question: Why does Rashi choose to mention Israel in the words of the verse that he highlights, but not Egypt?
The real question is: What was uniting them?
By the Egyptians the uniting factor was not that they were Egyptian, but their hatred for the Children of Israel, therefore Rashi doesn't highlight the word "Egypt." Because it was the hatred in their hearts that was causing their unity, Rashi says, "with one heart like one man." In other words, since they were united "with one heart," in their hatred for the Children of Israel, therefore they were "like one man."
On the other hand, when the Jewish people reached Mount Sinai they were so in touch with their essence, so in touch with their neshama, and at the neshama level we are one, we were one because we are truly one. That is why Rashi highlights the word "Israel," because it was the fact that they were Jewish that they were united. And that is why Rashi says, "like one man with one heart." In other words, because they were "like one man," they were united because they are Jewish, therefore they were "with one heart," wanting to receive the Torah.
Only the Jewish people are truly one because at our essence we are one. But we see that non Jewish people can also be united in heart, so it's incumbent upon us to be living examples to those who are not Jewish, the Children of Noah, that they should follow the Seven Laws of the Children of Noah.
The same is with a married couple, they are truly one in their essence, two halves of one neshama. It's true that they may be at odds from time to time, and maybe even have strife and arguments, but if they work together on it with effort and love, they will not only strengthen their relationship, but they can take their marriage to a whole new level.
In order to receive the Torah, in order to receive the greatest revelation we ever experienced, we had to be united at the neshama level, so too, if we are united we will merit to experience an even greater revelation, with the coming of Moshiach. May he come soon.
Dedicated in honor of our son Moshe who celebrates his birthday this week. We love you and we are proud of you. You have so much love in your heart.