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How We Win Is Important

We read about Amalek in Parashat B’shalach. As the first to attack the Israelites once we are freed from Egypt and wandering through the desert, Amalek gains some level of notoriety. In M’chilta D’Rabbi Yishmael, Rabbi Eliezer of Modi’in suggests this is due to the tactics Amalek used in the attack. “Amalek ‘sneaked’ under the edges of the cloud and snatched the souls of Israel and killed them,” (as the Torah hints later in Deuteronomy) — “When you were weary and worn out, [Amalek’s army] met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God” (M’chilta D’Rabbi Yishmael, Amalek, on Exodus 17:8).

D'var Torah By: 
Overcoming Our Obsession with Amalek
Davar Acher By: 
Rabbi Stacy Schlein

In Parashat B’shalach we read that God instructs Moses to “Inscribe this in a document as a reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven!” Our fascination with Amalek reflects both the Torah’s and our own human desire to connect all of our enemies to one great, focused, overpowering source of evil.

First Steps on the Path to the Promised Land

Redemption! Parashat B’shalach is a Torah portion of glory — glory in the Song at the Sea, the poetic celebration of liberation from Egyptian bondage, and glory in the details of the Israelites’ first steps out of Egypt.

The parashah begins with the verse that sets the scene for the entire next thematic section of the Book of Exodus, the Israelites’ early adventures wandering in the desert. Exodus 13:17 reads, “Now when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although it was nearer; for God said, ‘The people may have a change of heart when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ ”

D'var Torah By: 
And Now … What Next?
Davar Acher By: 
Cantor Jacqueline Rawiszer

Rabbi Bonnheim shows a particular, timely insight in her reference to the “Israelites’ anxiety about their new reality.” When we think of Parashat B’shalach, our first images often turn to the miracle at the Sea of Reeds, an explosion of rapturous song and joyful dance, and the celebration of the new-found state of freedom.

But not here.

This journey, with its dangling carrot of collective redemption, presents itself in alternating forms of paralytic panic, fear of the abyss, relentless struggle, and loss of control. A leave-taking moment, indeed.

Miriam’s Song

This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Shirah, "Sabbath of Song," because on it we read/chant the epic poem, Shirat HaYam, "Song at the Sea," contained in the Torah portion B'shalach.

D'var Torah By: 
Let’s All Take a Chance . . . Dance
Davar Acher By: 
Marshal Klaven

Dance is poetry/song in motion.

Experiencing God’s Miracles: Being Ready to Act

Each year, when we reach Parashat B'shalach, I try to imagine how frightening it must have been for our ancestors to reach the Red Sea and to know that the Egyptian army was closing in on

D'var Torah By: 
Don’t Cry Out, Don’t Read Aloud: Act, Sing, Dance!
Davar Acher By: 
Ariel Edery

B'shalach tells us not to "pray and cry out to God," but rather to take actions and initiatives to address our needs and problems (see Exodus 14:15).

Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot: A Tabernacle of Torah for Everyone

It was a quiet Jerusalem day at the Wall, one of those brutally hot June afternoons with the sun beating down on the sandy hues of Jerusalem stone.

By: 
Amy R. Perlin
We Are a Sukkah
Davar Acher By: 
Beth L. Schwartz

In our community, we take to heart Rabbi Perlin's words, "Our sukkah is open for all to come and dwell." Whenever we have guests from Israel in our community, they are always invited to attend Shab

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