“Why does the soul sing not what the sea sings and why does the thinking reed grumble?
Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev
The great and triumphant moment that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea is inextricable from the verses of praise that they sung together. “Az yashir Moshe” “And so Moses sung” introduces that section of the Torah called The Song of the Sea. Even in the scroll itself these words are arrayed differently in a pattern that is almost an illustration of the sea splitting, walls the water and the path in between. Song and miracle forever intertwined.
But whose song is it? Moses who is first mentioned? Miriam, the inspiration for the joyous women? Gd to whom the song is addressed or the Israelites who call out as one? All play their role. But we call the song Shirat haYam, the Song of the Sea. Perhaps the sea also sings. What could we learn from the song the sea sings? Nature is constantly singing to Gd by it’s very presence. The mountains and the rivers, hills and valleys all call out in songful praise. We too are singers and we too are part of nature. Why then is our song so different. The poet and social critic Fyodor Tuyutchev in the quote above beautifully points out the difference between our song and the song of nature. Because we are able to think. We are conscious and therefore self-conscious about our own thoughts and our relationship with each other, ourselves and G*d.
And that is the power of the Sea’s Song, the song in which the Israelites embodied the power of nature, the joy and purpose that is natural to the sea and so elusive to us. At that moment the people, awash with faith, called out in song.

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