Exodus

O holy Shabbes Inspiration Shemot
Maqam Rast C D E half-flat F


I give you my soul
when I turn from my complacency
stuck as I am in the mud of my own life
I turn out and I give you my soul
mesirat nefesh
(we call it).

I give you my soul
when I turn away from my equanimity
what I think I know
I turn away and give you my soul
mesirat nefesh.

An old God departed our story
who was no longer known.
At the beginning of Exodus absent
during the great decline into Slavery
— a new King arose over Egypt who knew not Joseph [Ex.1:8]
the Egyptians made us suffer so.

Not until Moses was grown
he went out to his brothers
saw into their suffering [2:11]
and he gave himself away
I give you my soul
he said, in the manner of brothers,

God returned to the story just then [S.R.H. on Ex.2:22-24]
because you turned aside from your life
shared in the suffering
like brothers
so I will leave the ones above and the ones below
and will speak with you.
[Midrash]

I heard their groaning,
God said,
and remembered the Covenant with Abraham
with Isaac, and with Jacob
and I, too, saw the children of Israel
and I knew their affliction.
[2:24-25]

From the bush, God returns all the way [3:3]
Moshe, Moshe
Moshe turns aside
turns aside from here and comes close There [Rashi on 3:3]

I am a turning soul, Moses says
I have no face
no body
nothing really
all I have is a soul to give up
I give it to you
Here I am with my soul
[3:4]
it’s all I have
mesirat nefesh
I give you my soul
and that always saves me.

God says,

don’t worry yourselves
I give you my soul
I will be with you for the whole story
restore you
take you out from here
save you forever.
I give you my soul.
[3:7-8]

We are saving each other with nothing
giving up our separate senses of self
giving our souls to each other
the only enduring offering

the only salvation we have.

jsg, usa