Not a betting man…
I’m not a betting man, but if I was, I’d use this upcoming parasha as inspiration for my NFL playoff picks. As we encounter the Israelite people in Parashat Beshalach, they are beginning their ultimate road journey- leaving the home they’ve inhabited for generations for a long road that will hopefully lead to the promised land.
Even on the surface, we see the power of the road team. It’s not surprising, then, to discover that 3 out of the 4 road teams won their wild card matchup this weekend. What might be surprising is that the one victorious home team was Seattle. And so we return to the text, to dig deeper, in order to find our answers.
The Israelites crossed the split sea, the uprights if you would, following wit h a remarkable song and dance. The song, known as Shirat Hayam (song of the sea), tells the story of triumph over the Egyptians who were unable to cross. These Egyptians “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath He cast into the sea, and his chosen captains are sunk in the Red Sea,” the text exclaims. Chariots led by horses, or COLTS, drowned. Chariots ridden by chosen captains, CHIEFtains if you would, drowned. This possibly alludes to losses by the Colts and Chiefs this past weekend.
That’s two games explained, but what about the SEAHAWKS? That’s easy- they wouldnt drown in the SEA if they are SEAHAWKS!!
The argument that the Eagles should have been victorious as well is muted by two factors- their coach and their opponent. Often referred to as the Red Sea, the Sea of Reeds bears its name because it is filled with REED. Andy Reed, coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, needed to drown in the Sea of Reeds- it was destiny foretold. Reed and his Eagles also faced this year’s Superbowl sleeper, the Green Bay Packers- it sounds like the perfect nickname for the Israelites- packing only what could fit on their back, the Israelites began their journey on the road to the promised land.
There you have it. All four games told in the prophecies of Parashat Beshalach. As Shabbat Shira approaches, may we continue to find favorable metaphors from the torah to sing in our own lives.