Leaping and Springing and Passing-Over

Ilana Goldstein Saks Tradition Online | April 21, 2024

What brought about the moment of redemption from Egypt? Exodus 12 has the Israelites hastily preparing to leave—the display of their eagerness seemingly the necessary prerequisite for their freedom—while God passes-over above, busy with the slaying of Egyptian firstborn sons. The midrash, however, suggests that God, too, was acting with haste, eager to bring about the redemption. Rashi’s interpretation of these same verses touches upon the potential tension between his desire to remain loyal to the structure and the grammar of the biblical text, and his love and extensive use of midrash. The result is a creative reworking of the midrash which achieves both goals while getting at the very heart of the meaning of the holiday of Passover.

Read Ilana Goldstein Saks’ Sources & Resources column, “Leaping and Springing Between Rashi and Midrash” (Winter 2024).

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