Top 50/7 The Song of the Sea שירת הים
The oldest Biblical text, scholars claim, is a song of triumph, sung by the fleeing Hebrew slaves after their successful/miraculous crossing of the Sea of Reeds. ‘The Song of the Sea’ lyrics range from relieved joy to gloating rage, celebrating freedom and the drowning of the oppressors. Jewish tradition links the crossing and singing to today – the 7th day of Passover and this song is chanted in synagogues and sometimes on beaches. For liberals, both ancient and modern, some of the song’s contents present a theological and humanist challenge. We want to celebrate freedom but not the loss of lives on the other side. Got it. Human nature, but lets go higher. Which is probably why Steven Spielberg’s 1998 ‘Prince of Egypt’ features a sweeping musical version devoid of the darker stanzas: it’s beautiful and all about joy. I still get chills when hearing the Bronze Age Hebrew poetry remixed with Michelle Pfeiffer (!) and Sally Dworsky (Hi Sallly!) big Hollywood style ‘When you Believe’. Here’s to the joy of finding our way in the world and to less of the hatred of others with the belief in good and the triumph of hope. Daily.
Amichai’s Top 50: Soundtrack of my life. 4/20-6-8 2019/Passover-Shavuot 5779