Beshalach: “When he sent out”
Exodus 13:17 - 17:16

What is a miracle?

Is it a child’s first step?

Perhaps the first flower of spring?

Or the inner comfort you are not alone?

With pillars of cloud and fire to guide them

G-d’s people sought such miracles

Not only in the belief of rain
or the expectation of hunger’s first taste

But in the innocence that comes from trust

Patience

Years toiling with sweat upon your brow

As if to speak in silence
a familiar hymn of penitence

As each voice echoes first with another
and then in perfectly tuned choir

“I am here”

So hearts may harden

And promises break
as a worn out pair of sandals

But as the sand follies between the toes

As uncertainty links expectation

A miracle occurs

Not because it is expected
as much as it is found in seas of hope

The water’s edge is reached

And by the staff of a simple shepherd

The way is made clear
to continue home on this hallowed journey

For to walk through now-parted waters
begins with a child’s first step

Rabbi Tad Campbell


(Rabbi Tad Campbell is a published writer and poet who holds an MA from the University of Oxford, England, the MTS from Duke, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary. He is a board certified chaplain and pastoral counselor and currently serves with Suncoast Hospice in Clearwater, Florida.)
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CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL OF THE PALISADES