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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

Lift Up Your Arms

”For Elisheva”

Parshat Bo describes the physical action that Moses takes to bring the plague of locusts . Later in Exodus, God instructs Moses to lift up his arms and the sea split….

Then Moses held out his arm over the sea and יהוה drove back the sea with a strong east wind all that night, and turned the sea into dry ground. The waters were split,

Moses, as the agent of God, lifts his hands to bring both plagues and miracles. We, as human beings, also have the power to lift our arms. With raised arms we also create small miracles in our time.

Hoping for miracles,


Lift Up Your Arms

Lift up your arms. Bring a plague

bring destruction.

but that is not all.

Lift up your arms.

Lift a newborn babe

lift him high to greet this world,

but that is not all.

Lift up your arms.

Conduct an orchestra.

The music courses through your body,

like lightning, like a river,

but that is not all.

Lift up your arms.

Reach for the sky

Embrace the day.

Feel the sun on your fingers.

Energy rushes electric,

but that is not all.

Lift up your arms.

Gesture toward your friend,

toward your enemy.

raise toward an embrace.

toward wholeness,

but that is not all.

Lift up your arms.

Sometimes in sorrow,

sometimes in relief,

occasionally in exasperation.

Arms lifted in prayer,

Fingers extended skyward,

a passionate request,

a dance of the muscles,

the sinews.

Sometimes there is sorrow,

but that's not all;

there is also joy.

Lift up your arms!


וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה נְטֵ֨ה יָדְךָ֜ עַל־אֶ֤רֶץ מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ בָּֽאַרְבֶּ֔ה וְיַ֖עַל עַל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וְיֹאכַל֙ אֶת־כׇּל־עֵ֣שֶׂב הָאָ֔רֶץ אֵ֛ת כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר הִשְׁאִ֖יר הַבָּרָֽד׃

Then יהוה said to Moses, “Hold out your arm over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come upon the land of Egypt and eat up all the grasses in the land, whatever the hail has left.”

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