The parshah for next week is Beshalach (Exodus 13:17 – 17:16). There are a lot of very important events happening in just four chapters. In fact, one could write a blog on any one of the following topics: the Israelite escape from Egypt; the parting of the Red Sea (literally the sea of Reeds); the Israelites being pursued by the Pharaoh and his army; the death of Pharaoh and his army in the sea; the incessant complaints of the Israelites in the desert; and the first descriptions of Shabbat observance.
Yet, this post will not focus on any of those topics. Rather, I want to examine chapter 15, the Song of the Sea. It is one of the oldest sections of the Torah and contains some of the most iconic images of the divine.
Yet, the Song of the Sea is a patriarchal text if ever there was one. G-d is a strong and vengeful (ver. 2) warrior (ver. 3), who has fury or is wrathful (ver. 7), and wields a mighty arm that kills enemies (ver. 6 &12). This in-your-face power of the deity inspires fear in those who threaten the deity’s chosen people (ver. 14-15), and the Israelites are grateful for it (ver. 11). Because of the power of this deity, one can rest assured that this warrior deity will rule (be the King) forever (ver. 18). Continue reading “Beshalach and Liberating Models of G-d by Ivy Helman”