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    The serving girl at the Red Sea – B’shallach

    Israelites crossing the sea, from the Venice Haggadah, 1609

    According to the Midrash (Mechilta on Ex, 15:2), the merest serving girl saw more at the Red Sea than even the great Ezekiel saw in his prophetic visions.

    What did she see? God? No-one can see God!?

    Maybe she didn’t see with her eyes but with her mind, and she perceived more than Ezekiel did.

    Impossible, you say? Did she have a better mind than Ezekiel… or Isaiah, or Jeremiah?

    Maybe this isn’t what the Midrash is saying at all. It is telling us that the maidservant did not see ideas or arguments, but real facts.

    There are two ways to God. Those who work with the intellect see (or perceive) the arguments for the existence and presence of the Divine; the maidservant encountered Him, not as an entity or Presence but as a caring reality.

    For her the question was not so much, “Does God exist?” but “Does He care?”

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