In this week’s Torah portion, B’shalach, the Israelites finally flee Egypt, only to end up being chased by Pharaoh and his 600 chariots. As the story nears its climax, the Israelites find themselves trapped between the Sea of Reeds and the approaching Egyptian army.
Those moments at the Sea’s edge — before Moses raised his staff (and Nachshon entered) to part the water — must have been incredibly tense moments for each Israelite!! As I tried to imagine their plight, I wrote these words:
at the Sea’s edge
I’m standing at the Sea’s edge.
All degrees of freedom are gone.
One millimeter before me is
I don’t know
what monsters might be in there
or how far I can swim,
so I am
But overtaking me from behind is
THE LIFE I DO NOT WANT:
being enslaved to others and
worshipping gods that are not mine.
To continue standing here
is certain death.
Yet, I am
to step forward!!
Eternal Gd of my ancestors,
give me the courage to step forward,
to choose Life,
so that my children may live . . .
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
May Gd give give each of us the strength to overcome our fear and step toward Life, and may Shabbat bring more Shalom to all, jen