"Whenever Pharaoh knocks at my door, I sing the song to remind myself that I’ve got a little bit of Moses in me, too”
Sometimes modern lyrics can draw on the timeless relevance of ancient events.
The song “Moses in Me,” from 8th Day’s 2017 Slow Down album, reminds us of the ongoing showdown between the arrogant, evil Pharaoh who wants to be our spiritual jailer, keeping us feeling defeated and hopeless, and Moshe Rabbeinu, whose spiritual example reminds us that we can prevail against the odds. (“Knock, knock Pharaoh’s at my door / He’s bringing slavery to tie my hands and blind my / Eyes to see / But I’ve got a little bit of Moses in me / I’ve got the power, power to break free…”)
The concept is based on the chassidic interpretation of slavery and emancipation, starting in Egypt yet extending to our own lives as we struggle with our personal “Mitzrayim,” or “meitzarim,” — our personal perceived limitations that prevent us from soaring, says 8th Day’s Bentzi Marcus, who wrote the song.
“It started,” says Bentzi, “when I was having some problems with my own personal ‘Pharaoh.’ True, we don’t live in Egypt, we live in California, but sometimes I still get stuck in my own ‘Mitzrayim’ — my spiritual limitations. This is the modern-day Pharaoh. You may have heard his voice when you decided to finish a masechta or say the whole Tehillim. That voice is telling you, ‘You’ll never be able to do that,’ or ‘For you, that’s impossible.’ It gets worse when Pharaoh then starts telling you that you have to do this and that just to fit in. But then I tuned in to the end of the story, the Exodus and the redemption. True, Pharaoh may be strong, but Moses is stronger. And now, whenever Pharaoh knocks at my door, I sing the song to remind myself that I’ve got a little bit of Moses in me, too.”
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 892)