How long should we wait before we sing a joyous song? Should we wait until the world is perfect? Should we wait until all injustice and misfortune are defeated? If we did, we might never get a chance to sing! Of course, the old favorite song, “Singing in the Rain” gives us a hint…Even when the weather is less than ideal, we are invited to sing!
Our Torah portion includes the Song of the Sea – Moses’ and the children of Israel sang, even as the enemy forces that were determined to obliterate them were drowning in the Sea. We are taught not to rejoice at our enemy’s downfall especially because we affirm that all human beings are created in the image of God. But, we are also taught to rejoice when we realize that, despite the dangers of life, we have been spared and we have been allowed to live to celebrate another day!
At a Jewish wedding ceremony, we rejoice with singing and dancing at our simcha [our joyous ocassion]. Yet, we also incorporate the breaking of a glass during the wedding ceremony to remind us that not everyone is rejoicing at this very moment in time.
Perhaps we emphasize the singing and the dancing at our joyous ocassions precisely because we are aware of human frailty and of the fragility of life!
Interestingly, in our Torah portion of B’Shalach, we read the Song of the Sea, and continue to tell the story of the Exodus which is replete with many trials and tribulations that continued to plague our people in the desert. Yet, in our morning prayers, we recite the Song of the Sea, and not the verses that recount the many subsequent complaints of our people.
In setting the tradition of daily repetition of the Song of the Sea in our morning prayers, we are reminded that although the ultimate redemption has yet to become a reality and despite the fact that we are all engaged in trying to move our world toward that ultimate goal – we are strongly encouraged to “sing in the rain” even as we continue to strive for a more complete redemption of our world.
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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