Pharaoh’s Gambit: Double Jeopardy?

Each time we read the Book of Exodus in anticipation of the vivid and timeless struggle between dualities that comprise and compromise humanity, we rediscover a story that never disappoints. Pharaoh, the story’s antagonist is portrayed as the embodiment of evil, on a mission to maintain his royal status quo while Moses presents as the good man leading his people forth on a mission from God.

Though each player in this game of morality and theology offers clever, strong arguments for their positions, the ultimate moderator is unseen, yet fearsomely present. Because the familiar tale of Israel’s long-suffering sojourn in Egypt has been interpreted and retold in myriad editions of the Passover Haggadah, I won’t be doing so now. Instead, along with the title of this post, I’ve decided to offer these images of Pharaoh, Moses and his brother Aaron as a visual prequel to the Haggadah’s traditional four questions.

Perhaps they will provoke your own questions, challenge old concepts and reveal new facets of a story whose characters and threads continue to  shape our ever-unfolding history. As ever, your thoughts are welcome here.

Further fuel for questions may be found in the AfterImages portion of my book, Between Heaven & Earth: An Illuminated Torah Commentary (Pomegranate, 2009) For previews and purchase information visit: http://bit.ly/g2D9Lm

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