Nachshon ben Aminadav’s Mi Camocha

The Israelites were running from slavery, with the Egyption army furiously on their heels, when they came upon the Red Sea barring their way. They were on the threshold of freedom, stopped by a massive body of water. There is a midrash which says that Nachshon ben Aminadav put his faith in g!d, and started walking into the water, saying:

“Who is like you Lord among the mighty? Who is like you glorious in holiness?”

When saying the first line, he says “chamocha” and by the time he gets to the second line, his faith has taken him so far into the sea that the water enters his mouth, and he chokes a little, and says “kamocha” and then g!d causes the waters to open.

This papercut is about this moment. The words that Aminadav spoke represent the Israelites on the threshold, leaving slavery and about to enter freedom, the first line of text below, the second line above and partly enveloped in water. They are pursued by the army and stopped by the sea, grasping at faith. They are a people enslaved but not yet a people devoted to g!d, escaping the pyramids of Egypt and hoping to reach the promised land, Jerusalem, out there beyond the roiling waves. With hot desert rocks behind and the cold wet water in front, they are in between on a threshold of cool sand. The waters of the sea just beginning to part.

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July 2018
24" x 24"
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