Text: Exodus 1-17
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The Exodus story is arguably the most essential sacred narrative of the Jewish people: it depicts our journey from slavery to freedom, from Egypt to the Promised Land, from lawlessness to redemption, from uncertainty to hope, from shaking in fear to singing songs of joy. It is here that we first learn our ethic of kindness to the stranger among us, for we were strangers in the land of Egypt. It is here that we first learn of the heroics of Shifra and Puah, the midwives who refused to murder Hebrew baby boys, thus allowing Moses to be born and survive. It is here we learn of the depths of God’s power to affect the elements and effect change in our spiritual, if not physical, world. It is here we learn the names of the tribes of Israel who come to establish the civilization we all know today as Judaism.
In this piece, the text begins in the top-right in the Egyptian shore across the sea, describing the Israelites’ time in Egypt. The Song of the Sea can be found in Miriam’s hair. The line depicting Miriam taking her timbrel in her hand and leading the Israelites in dance and song is in the outline of her timbrel. The section where the Egyptians drown is in the darkest section between the swirls of the water, as the waves crash down on them. The land beneath Miriam’s feet moves along a gradient from desert browns to lush green, indicating the path the Israelites would take will lead them to greener pastures in the Promised Land.