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Parshat Beshalach: The women who dare to hope, in those day and in ours

Updated: Jan 23

בזכות נשים צדקניות ישראל נגאלו ישראל ממצרים 

Yes, in the righteous women’s merit we were redeemed.

They are the women of faith, not conventional faith.

Not faith in ‘concepts’ or ‘propositions’ faith in themselves, in the bigger picture, in their people, in the power to heal and power of prayer.

These women who shattered the glass ceiling in Egypt have not died, their spirit lives on today in this moment, at this time.

The chayelet on the frontline, army dog in tow digging up bodies of her fellow comrades.

The mother of six, humming as she washes the dishes, so she forgets that she hasn’t seen her husband in months.

The newly married wife, now sleeping in her parents' home, so she doesn’t feel the emptiness of the bed by her side.

The mother who takes out a permanent marker and masking tape each morning to engrave on her heart the number of days her son has been held hostage in the hands of savage murderers.

The daughter who holds back her tears in kindergarten as she watches other fathers come to collect her friends, whilst she yearns to see hers.

The young woman in a tunnel in Gaza, whose inaudible cries penetrate the heart of every mother in Israel, every moment of every day.

The tank drivers who thought of nothing but the lives of their fellow sisters steering tanks on roads to deliver them from danger.

The grandmother in Nir Oz who collects the remnants of a family turned to ash - her daughter, son in law and three grandchildren, her screams muted lest they break through the limits of the earth.

The mother who wipes away tears because she knows in the ferocity of war, of a daily death count that her son has become just another name, but to her he is a world.

Yes, in their merit.

In the merit of these women who manage to house hope and despair.

Pain and joy.

Sacred and profane.

Who pick up the laundry and whisper a prayer.

Who go to work every day holding the frayed edges of their fragmenting reality together.

Who despite every single shattering of every single paradigm, insist that fullness will return.

They are the women of the Exodus.

Miriam, the atheist and the believer; the rationalist and the mystic; she is all and nothing.

Miriam the Prophetess.

She sees the reality, the pain and sorrow, the dead babies in the Nile and the live ones used as cement to fill the pyramid bricks.

She touches the darkness of exile as it saturates her very being.

She sees it all; she sees the absent God and the drawn and hollow filled eyes of her father, and yet…..

She also sees the child and his future, the light and the good, the water at the bottom of well that cannot be measured and that requires hope and resilience to reach.

She hears the music in the suffering, and she teaches others to hear and play it too.

She can trace the threshold of freedom even in the pit of hell, because she believes not just in the redemptive power of God, but in the redemptive power of humankind.

She doesn’t place anything into dogmatic structures; in fact, she breaks all the boxes, all the paradigms. The daughter of Pharaoh becomes a partner for salvation. The timid girl transforms into a paragon of audacity and fortitude.

In shattering paradigms, she shows us what real faith is, and it is NOT what we expect.

It is not propositional statements about God and man; it is not even absolute faith that things will turn out well because God is on our side.

Faith appears in the nexus between being and non-being, in the depth of hell and at the point of despair. There it is born and from there it bears fruits.

The water at the bottom of the well; a song of independence before it has transpired; inner strength and resilience; hope and perseverance; ephemeral beauty of life and the audacity to love.

Miriam doesn’t keep it to herself. She teaches it to others. To anyone who will listen and to those who won’t. She hollers it to Pharaoh and his daughter and to the taskmasters, and to the world, and in that cry of sacred discontent something shatters.

There is a breaking of the vessels that creates a crack into which the light seeps. Slowly, incrementally it seeps into the fissures, and it is so bright and so blinding that one cannot help but be enraptured by its appeal.

And the mimetic desire of those women, who imbibe her posture of hope and dare to transform it into authentic dance of their own.

These women mine the recesses of the human spirit to produce a pervading and all-encompassing potency that colours an entire people, and eventually brings about the Exodus, and journey to the promised land.

Yes, in their Merit.

Those women in that time, and these women in ours are the secret to our survival and the key to our redemption. And in their merit, we will return once again to a ‘promised land’. Readily, speedily in our days.

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Deeply profound and inspiring. Thank you for writing and sharing this. ❣️ It has been shared on our designers group with much appreciation.

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As an erstwhile Yerushalime’. And present yurde’m in Moscow. I am emboldend. With you courageous melody of strength. Kol ha kavod! K.H B’h

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