Parashat B’shalach • Exodus 13:17-17:16

Having crossed the Sea of Reeds, before even uttering a sigh of relief, the Israelites break into song. Known as Shirat HaYam, or Song of the Sea, the lyrics found in this week’s Torah portion are considered by scholars to preserve perhaps the oldest grammatical forms in all of Torah. “Who is like You among the gods that are worshipped,” our ancestors cried: “Mi chamocha b’eilim Adonai!

It seems appropriate that one of the oldest ways of approaching God in Jewish tradition is through song. Singing offers us a bridge and a direct connection between the head and the heart, uplifting our spirits in times of trouble and elevating our gladness during times of joy. Even those of us who are tonally challenged can find pleasure in song! Come, let all of us sing a new song unto God, we read in Psalms, and I really do hope you will join us. This Shabbat, our varying worship styles converge in one service on our Bellevue campus at 6:00 PM as our many musicians offer praise. A nosh and talk by Justice Madsen of the Washington State Supreme Court follow immediately after.

Rabbi Aaron C. Meyer

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