This Week’s Torah Portion: 7th Day of Passover – יוֹם שְׁבִיעִי שֶׁל פֶּסַח (Exodus 14:30–15:21)
We hear echoes of Passover every time we pray, in every service throughout the year. Just before we rise in prayer, we sing this song, perhaps the oldest song we know, which has echoed through the voices of our people for more than three thousand years:Mi chamocha ba-eilim Adonai, “Who is like you among the gods that are worshipped?” the song begins. “Who is like you majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, working wonders?”
This song echoes forth from this week’s Torah Portion, specially selected for the Sabbath during Passover, which contains the great poem of our people’s liberation, the Song of the Sea. It is an ancient victory ode which our people sang on the far shore of the Red Sea, having crossed through walls of water, on their journey from slavery to freedom.
Imagine for a moment if the echoes of Passover could echo in our lives throughout the year, not just in song but in deed as well. If we could say everyday the words: “Let all who are hungry come and eat.” If we could hear God’s call that “in every generation we should see ourselves as if we ourselves came forth from slavery to freedom.” If we could dedicate ourselves to the proposition that “until all of us are free, we are none of us truly free.” That would be a Passover worth remembering, when the echo of our songs of prayer became visions of a better world made real.
Parsha 7th Day of Passover Torah Summary: As the observance of Passover draws to an end, the Torah portion includes the dramatic recounting of the splitting of the sea in this poem known as “The Song at the Sea.” Written with great emotion, this poem attempts to convey the power of “God’s might hand.” So powerful is the imagery that verses of this poem have become part of the Jewish liturgy. The poem comes to a climatic finish with Miriam, the prophetess, picking up her timbrel and leading the women in dance.