Blog

30http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2011/01/Rabbi-Lyon%27s-Blog---01_07_2011
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 01_07_2011
01/06/2011 08:57 AM Posted by:

From the desk of Rabbi David Lyon

January 7, 2011

 

            A great football coach once taught his team that it wasn’t enough to aim for getting to the Super Bowl; the team had to aim for winning the Super Bowl. I use a football analogy because it relates to our Torah portion this week called Bo. Torah often references football whenever the text reports, “And then it came to pass…”

Back to Torah. In Bo, we read about the Israelites who are just about to cross the Red Sea ( Sea of Reeds). It’s here when we come to believe that the Israelites have finally found freedom from Egyptian slavery. Moses said to the people, “Remember this day, on which you went free from Egypt…how the Lord freed you from it with a mighty hand” (Exodus 13:3). The anticipated event was at hand, but real freedom was not. Their mission was not yet accomplished. The real journey to freedom had just begun. After he released them to go out of Egypt, Pharaoh rose up and pursued the Israelites. From this we learn that Pharaoh only released them from his authority. Real freedom would come from God when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, and Pharaoh and his men went down into the waters “like a stone.”

Like the Super Bowl, freedom for the Israelites was not achieved until they reached the end zone, the other side of the Red Sea. Until then, it was a great story filled with great expectations. Only after the sea covered Pharaoh and his men did the Israelites break into song. It wasn’t a sideline pep band filled with trumpets, but it could have been. Instead, they sang the magnificent and familiar Song of the Sea (Shira HaYam), found in Exodus 15. The victory song is so special to that time and event that the Song of the Sea is given a special trope or melody for the occasion. In another week on Shabbat, we’ll chant the special melody and recall the celebration that came with God’s promise to bring the Israelites to freedom.

            For the Israelites, God’s reassuring presence was evident when they crossed the Red Sea and came up on dry land. That’s when they cried out, “Who is like You, O God?!” For us, God’s reassuring presence can be evident to us. We can sing victory songs, too. Every Shabbat, we sing Mi Chamocha, “Who is like You, O God?” taking the words from Exodus 15, to recall what God did for our ancestors. We sing other songs, too, that our ancestors never knew or could have known. Thankfully, we still find meaning in God’s presence in our own times and places. Next week, when we sing the Song of the Sea, we might include these words, “Who else but You, God, could have freed me, helped me, comforted me, and strengthened me?”

            As Shabbat begins and we recall the long way of our ancestors, let’s remember their victory in God’s presence. Then let’s sing songs to celebrate God’s presence in our life and in all times.

            From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

 

Blog Search

Categories

Archives

201804April3
April 2018 (3)
201803March5
March 2018 (5)
201802February4
February 2018 (4)
201801January4
January 2018 (4)
201712December4
December 2017 (4)
201711November2
November 2017 (2)
201710October2
October 2017 (2)
201708August3
August 2017 (3)
201707July4
July 2017 (4)
201706June4
June 2017 (4)
201705May2
May 2017 (2)
201704April3
April 2017 (3)
201703March4
March 2017 (4)
201702February3
February 2017 (3)
201701January3
January 2017 (3)
201612December4
December 2016 (4)
201611November3
November 2016 (3)
201610October3
October 2016 (3)
201609September4
September 2016 (4)
201608August2
August 2016 (2)
201607July5
July 2016 (5)
201606June2
June 2016 (2)
201605May3
May 2016 (3)
201604April4
April 2016 (4)
201603March3
March 2016 (3)
201602February2
February 2016 (2)
201601January4
January 2016 (4)
201512December4
December 2015 (4)
201511November3
November 2015 (3)
201510October2
October 2015 (2)
201509September2
September 2015 (2)
201508August4
August 2015 (4)
201507July5
July 2015 (5)
201506June4
June 2015 (4)
201505May2
May 2015 (2)
201504April5
April 2015 (5)
201503March3
March 2015 (3)
201502February4
February 2015 (4)
201501January4
January 2015 (4)
201412December3
December 2014 (3)
201411November3
November 2014 (3)
201410October4
October 2014 (4)
201409September2
September 2014 (2)
201408August3
August 2014 (3)
201407July3
July 2014 (3)
201406June3
June 2014 (3)
201405May3
May 2014 (3)
201404April4
April 2014 (4)
201403March3
March 2014 (3)
201402February4
February 2014 (4)
201401January5
January 2014 (5)
201312December3
December 2013 (3)
201311November3
November 2013 (3)
201310October4
October 2013 (4)
201309September2
September 2013 (2)
201308August5
August 2013 (5)
201307July4
July 2013 (4)
201306June4
June 2013 (4)
201305May5
May 2013 (5)
201304April4
April 2013 (4)
201303March4
March 2013 (4)
201302February4
February 2013 (4)
201301January5
January 2013 (5)
201212December4
December 2012 (4)
201211November5
November 2012 (5)
201210October4
October 2012 (4)
201209September2
September 2012 (2)
201208August5
August 2012 (5)
201207July4
July 2012 (4)
201206June3
June 2012 (3)
201205May5
May 2012 (5)
201204April4
April 2012 (4)
201203March5
March 2012 (5)
201202February4
February 2012 (4)
201201January4
January 2012 (4)
201112December5
December 2011 (5)
201111November3
November 2011 (3)
201110October3
October 2011 (3)
201109September4
September 2011 (4)
201108August4
August 2011 (4)
201107July3
July 2011 (3)
201106June4
June 2011 (4)
201105May4
May 2011 (4)
201104April4
April 2011 (4)
201103March5
March 2011 (5)
201102February4
February 2011 (4)
201101January4
January 2011 (4)
201012December5
December 2010 (5)
201011November4
November 2010 (4)
201010October5
October 2010 (5)
201009September2
September 2010 (2)
201008August2
August 2010 (2)
201006June3
June 2010 (3)
201005May5
May 2010 (5)
201004April3
April 2010 (3)
Captavi QixSuite™ - Hosted Marketing Automation Software ©