February 9th, 2017

One of the most puzzling aspects of the Exodus story is the double redemption. The initial exodus from Egypt is quickly overshadowed by the impending danger of Egypt’s army chasing down the Jews as they begin their journey away from slavery.

The miraculous splitting of the Red Sea that both allowed the Jews passage, and drowned the Egyptian army, was more remarkable than the first redemption a few days earlier. In a seemingly spontaneous reaction to this incredible salvation the Jews burst into song, paying tribute to God for having saved them so spectacularly.

But why was there a need for two redemptions? Was the first one not enough? Why is Aaron, intimately involved at every level and at every stage during the pre-Exodus period, not mentioned at all once the Jews leave Egypt? Why does the Torah mention Moshe’s removal of Yosef’s remains in the introduction to the Red Sea episode and not mention it earlier, when it actually happened?

The answers to these and other curiosities surrounding the first momentous week of Jewish nationhood cut to the core of God’s mission for His Chosen People, and directly connect the Exodus from Egypt with the revelation at Mount Sinai, offering us a glimpse into why these extraordinary events were only the beginning, with the ultimate redemption reserved for a time of total clarity only possible in the Messianic era.

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