The Song of the Well

Geula Twersky Tradition Online | June 29, 2022

 As we prepare to read Parashat Hukkat (this week in Israel; next week worldwide), we consider why the Song of the Well (Numbers 21:17-18) is nestled between Israel’s journey around Moab and the defeat of the Amorite kings, Sihon and Og. This highly compact song appears between two other brief enigmatic poems, adding to its mysterious air.

Read Geula Twersky’s exploration and explanation of this riddle in her “The Song of the Well,” TRADITION 51:4 (Fall 2019). In order to unpack the Song’s mysterious message, she examines the poem’s larger poetic context, and the Song of the Well emerges as an exultation of Israel as the beneficiary of God’s lovingkindness—an alternative yet complementary perspective to that offered by the Song of the Sea.

This essay subsequently appeared as a chapter in Twersky’s book Torah Song: The Theological Role of Torah Poetry (Kodesh Press), recently reviewed on TraditionOnline by Hayyim Angel.




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