Parashat Beshalach

How does a man conquer a woman? How does a woman with the man she wants? The concept of conquering is interesting. In fact, in its definition and in its meaning, the word includes violence, weapons, taking from the other what he has. But is that what we do when the conquest is directed at someone we want or love?


Already in the first chapter of Bereshit, Genesis, we are commanded to grow, multiply, populate the earth and conquer it, vekivshua. And automatically, the human being inscribed in this mandate the violent tint of usurping the land's rights, its nutrients, its possibilities of subsisting and continuing to generate life; we destroy this world, taking it to the edge of survival in which we must question whether we did things right. If we respect the lives entrusted to us and the subsistence of our species and others.


Perhaps we did not understand that first mandate. Perhaps "conquering" was not about usurping anything from anyone but, as we do with our desired partner, it was about understanding her, interfering to a certain extent in her inner life and in her needs, combining our own tastes with those of others in a symphony of souls and wills that result in a coexistence that tries to be pleasant and harmonious.


When in the Torah a couple has a love encounter, the story tells us that they “met”. If we put that meeting as the culmination point that love can have, then, the initial conquest of the world, referred to in Bereshit, had nothing to do with violence and the usurpation of anything, but with meeting background the world that was given to us and melt into it as the natural beings that we are.


In our parashah, we read the moment in which the people of Israel cross that wonder that turns out to be the Sea of ​​Reeds, the Yam Suf, opened by the Creator to give way to his people and save them from the Egyptian persecution. It is the precise moment in which the people unleash their hubbub with women's tambourines and a song of praise such as Shirat Hayam.


And it is precisely in this poetry that we find written even in a noticeably different way from the rest of the text, where we read: Teviemo vetitaemo behar nachalatkha. "You shall bring Israel and you shall sow them (vetitaemo) on the mountain of your inheritance."


Shirat Hayam anticipates how the conquest of Cnaan should be, which should not be exempt from this loving bond that they should have with the land. The Creator did not lead us to the land of Israel, but rather seeded us in the Promised Land in the same way that Adam and Java in Gan Eden were themselves the land from which they were fashioned.

Let us renew our moral commitment to humanity and to the world around us.


Gustavo Geier