Temporary victories

One of the lessons of history, especially of the history of human ideas and conflicts, is that there are few, if any, permanent victories. All the victors of World War II, for instance, have been humbled and themselves defeated in various ways and conflicts thereafter. Victories are only temporary in the eyes of history as are empires and superpowers. The Lord mocks our pretensions of human permanence in all its instances.

Thus when Moses and the Children of Israel sing their song of victory and triumph on the banks of the Red Sea, the Torah teaches us that not that this song was then sung – shar – but rather that it will yet be sung in the future – yashir.

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