Student Teaching in the New Millenium

Parents and Children

In Exodus on February 3, 2012 at 8:00 am

You sit there in the
corner, red-rimmed eyes, gasping,
shuddering, afraid.

You know, this hurts me
more than you can ever know.
How do I teach you?

I love you, child.
This estrangement, punishment.
You will know one day.

Parsha Beshalach

The Lord, the Warrior — 
Lord is His name!

Exodus 15.3

Our parsha emphasizes God the Warrior who protects who he chooses and smites everyone else.  A masculine image.  Deborah in our haftarah has this to say.

Through the window peered Sisera’s mother,
Behind the lattice she whined:
“Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why so late the clatter of his wheels?”
The wisest of her ladies give answer;
She, too, replies to herself:
“They must be dividing the spoil they have found:
A damsel or two for each man,
Spoil of dyed cloths for Sisera,
Spoil of embroidered cloths,
A couple of embroidered cloths
Round every neck as spoil.”

Judges 5.28-30

Why doesn’t our Torah text say this of the Egyptians killed in the Red Sea?  Why do the Israelites sing so joyously at the Egyptian’s deaths?  Or, put another way, why do the Israelites celebrate the death of fellow human beings?  Is God supposed to be a lion, a manly destroyer of his opponents, or a lioness, a feminine defender of her cubs?  Is one mutually exclusive of the other?  Are they supposed to be?

For I the LORD change not (Malachi 3.6).  Can they be?

Do mothers cry when they discipline children?


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