Lent Day Thirty Five

Returning now to Zornberg: on page 130, a paragraph which reminds me of a special concert.

page 130. Exodus: Honey from the Rock

The memory of redemption is essentially this: 'He fed them the finest wheat; I sated you with honey from the rock.' Honey from the rock: the phrase is evocative of the antinomies we have been exploring—the soft and the hard, the fluid and the rigid. These antinomies enter into a dialectic of redemption in the Egyptian story."


Oil and honey flowed from the stones of Egypt, like milk from the mother's breast. Stones and breasts; milk, honey, oil from the rock. These are the uncanny memories of Israel in Egypt.

Mother and baby, blissfully merged; flinty rejection, deafness. So it was then, and so it continues. Only in language, in narrative, can the tension be contained. 'Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.' The mouth of which God speaks is not that blind mouth of infancy. There is an adult choice here, a conscious will to open, to utter desire. This means to recognize, in separateness, the Other who is the redeemer. Here is the world of language, which offers an alternative to Egypt, Mitzrayim. Here, at least, is Bachelard's brook, which 'will repeat incessantly some beautiful, round word which rolls over rocks.'