Parshat Beshalach: “To be …or not to be”


Tamar Pelleg

Since then, a lot of water has flowed in the river of my life. Today, apart from my everyday writing in my “Morning  Diary”, I write regularly on topics related to the Hebrew Bible’s portion of the week, from a psycho-spiritual perspective and on topics  related to relationships that I post on  Facebook, blog, digital story collections and recently I am engaged in writing a  book and my  dream begins to come true.


The sound of horses galloping grew louder.

Were these his heartbeats?  Or were they the hooves of Pharaoh’s chariot horses that pursued them?

Cold sweat covered his body, and as he looked ahead and saw the Sea of Reeds as an open abyss before him — and he froze in place.

His legs refused to carry him.  His knees buckled. Something sank inside his stomach.

The shadows of the mountains suddenly darkened, and they seemed like a predator hovering over him.

Screams of fear were heard around him “Were there no graves in Egypt, so that you took us to die in the wilderness”?

Do not listen to these debilitating voices, keep going forward, there is no way you are going back there, it is better to die in the desert as a free person.

Are you sure? Wouldn’t it have been better to stay there? At least you knew what awaited you and at the end of the day you got your meat pot.

Why did he listen to a voice urging him to change his habits, to break free from bondage, to give up slavery?

True, he felt stressed, he was not happy, doubts began to creep in to his mind —   but at least one thing was certain — he knew what would happen tomorrow and the pot of meat was waiting for him every evening. The Blessed Routine.

The voice didn’t let go!  Might it not be best to return to the familiar place now? Before the soldiers catch him?

This adventure he embarked on – he was not built for it. There were too many risks and uncertainties involved.

Let’s fight them! He heard voices to his left

Let’s drown ourselves in this sea, just in order not to fall into their hands, he heard voices to his right

Mommy! Children’s screams were heard from all sides.

A cacophony of voices.

A tremor began to rise in his body, and he could not control it. Thoughts like merry-go-rounds, which did not stop spinning and only increased their speed in his head:

That was a mistake! I will not survive it, better to live a slave than to die a free man. I do not want to die!

So it will be stressful. So what!  He was never promised a rose garden. Only Adam had a Garden (of Eden) and he too lost it ..

This plan just does not make sense! All this talk about being free is unrealistic fantasies!

Trapped between the sea in front of him and his pursuers, alongside despair, fear and helplessness, suddenly, from his depths, a feeling he did not recognize leaped like a panther within him and emerged like a shriek on his lips.


You are not going back.

Act despite the fear. Enter the sea. Cleanse yourself of old habits. Believe that what awaits you from the other side is worth all the fear and effort. Just do not give up. Do not give up. Whatever happens.

The cold water had already lapped at his feet, climbed up his ankle, stroked the red mark where the chain had burned in his flesh, and suddenly … A tremendous noise followed by the sound of silence, and he found himself walking on land inside the sea,

A tremendous vibrating wall of water to his right and to his left, wondrous and terrible sights.  The whole course of his life was reflected in them before his eyes – here, he is a boy in his parents’ house cultivating their land in Egypt,  then the years of famine and suffering;  and here,  he is a young boy enslaved, building bricks from morning until evening, married and refraining from his young wife, afraid to bring children into the world because of the edict: Every child shall be thrown into the Nile!

What was that, shimmering in front of him?

He suddenly saw the image of his own bright figure reflected back to him, the image of God that he was.  His back straightened, his eyes were wide open, he hastened his steps and for the first time, the understanding of being a person free from the shackles of the past was embedded in him.

He was reborn!


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