The canticle of the sea (in Hebrew: שירת הים) is one of the three poems seen in the Hebrew Bible. It is followed by a short song, sang by Myriam and the other women: “Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them: Sing to the LORD...” (Exode 15, 20-21)
This canticle expresses the gratitude of the Hebrew people towards God for having freed them from Egypt and from Pharaoh’s army swallowed by the sea. That story from the Torah, which inspired many film directors and music composers, is daily sung in the morning prayer Az Yashir Moshe, and during Shabbat Bechalah’, also called Shabbat Shira.
During that Shabbat, in which is sung the canticle, there are also customs and particular songs that are explained to us – in music – by the cantor Jacques Arnold.
We will also hear readings of the Parasha and Haftara in different rites: Ashkenazi, Spanish-Portuguese (Jacques Arnold) and Moroccan (Marcel Lévy).
There will also be several religious poems and prayers talking about the crossover of the red sea.
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