Ps. 114: A Contemporary Interpretation

Carol Rose is a writer, educator and spiritual counselor. Her published works include, Path of The Mothers (poetry and prose, Albion-Andalus Books), From the Dream (poetry, Albion-Andalus Books), and Behind the Blue Gate (poetry, Beach Holme Publishing). In 2017, she and her husband, Rabbi Neal Rose, received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award of the province of Manitoba for the advancement of interreligious understanding.

During this time of pandemic, misinformation, and social upheaval, I find myself reading, interpreting, and applying the words of the Psalms (or their sentiments) in familiar and new ways. Some of these words serve as clear reminders of the timeless challenges that easily translate from ancient to contemporary times. Others require more creative engagement to see how they might illumine the current moment. I have chosen to unfold Psalm 114 in the following way:

 

The people left Egypt, which they called the narrow place,

Mitzraim, where exaggeration and deceit were on the tongues

of those in power; a strange and confusing language.

The women (sometimes known as the house of Jacob) and the men

formed a tribe, a people united in their desire to live truthfully, with holiness.

And it seemed as if the flow of life reversed itself, the waters of the Jordan

opened new pathways, and the people marched across, together.

And all that had once stood certain as mountains, began to shift, to dance.

And all that seemed dense, impenetrable as stone, began to flow

like waters splashing over rock, singing praises to the Presence

suddenly sensed among the travelers journeying home.

 

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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.