The Wow of Crossovers


This Shabbat where the Jewish community reads the Torah Portion (parasha) of Beshalach, is known as Shabbat Shirah, The Sabbath of Song. It was given the name because of the song sung to God by the Israelites after they cross the Red Sea into freedom after years of enslavement. Hotly pursued by the Egyptian chariots and facing the daunting depths of the Red Sea, faith wavering, they stood on the water’s edge afraid to take the necessary steps to move forward after Moses split the waters.


Rabbinic Midrash, or expansive commentary on the Sea of Reeds event names a man, Nachshon, as the first person to go down to the sea, providing leadership and giving confidence to the Israelites to follow in his footsteps. This is a threshold moment where Jewish tradition teaches that God hovers near. As we know, the Israelites successfully crossover and now begins the opportunity for them to move forward in their destiny.


The Biblical text tells us that after the safe passage, Miriam takes her timbrel in her hand, and the Israelite women all danced with her in joy. Miriam chanted for them, “Sing to the Lord, for God has triumphed gloriously.”

The experience offers many WOW episodes for us to takes as examples.  How do you relate? What fears have you conquered to move to the WOW of NOW on the other side? What WOW of NOW was waiting for you after you took a leap of faith? How can we all move forward on our threshold moments–those once-in-a lifetime ones and our small daily triumphs that make us dance with joy and praise God.  Please share your WOW moments. Shabbat Shalom.