We are reminded of the classical parable of Rabbi Akiva, who defied the decree prohibiting the study of the Torah which the Roman Emperor Hadrian tried to impose on the Jews. Asked why he risked his life by studying and spreading the teachings of the Torah, Rabbi Akiva replied by means of the following parable:
A hungry fox came to the bank of a stream. He saw the fish swimming restlessly in the water. Said the sly fox to the fish: “I see you are living in mortal fear lest you fall into the fisherman’s net. Come out onto the dry bank, and you will escape the fisherman’s net, and we’ll live happily together, as my ancestors lived with yours.” But the fish scoffed at the cunning fox, and replied: “If in the water, which is our very life, we are in danger, surely our leaving the water would mean certain death to us!”
The Torah is our very life, and we cannot live without it any more than fish can live without water. Could we save ourselves by abandoning our way of life, the way of the Torah? (chabad.org)
In Chassidic thought, the sea symbolizes the hidden G-dliness. The sea covers up the hidden beauty in the ocean. Just because we don’t see it does not mean it is not there.
Did you know? With over 75% of the earth covered with water, our under water world holds more than 25,000 species of fish and innumerable forms of wildlife that do not exist on land.
But, if we did not look beneath the surface of the ocean, we would never know about the fascinating sea life that the waters cover.
Just like the waters of the sea cover the sea life underwater, Hashem, the source of our life, hides from us.