Exodus: Gods and Kings was a terrible movie, but that won’t stop me from finding some redeeming value in its new interpretation of the Exodus story. I waited for the Torah readings about the Exodus story in our Torah reading cycle to tackle the most thought provoking aspect of the recent film.
The familiar version of the Exodus story includes a litany of harsh punishments levied by God against Pharaoh and the Egyptian people. Their suffering during these plagues is so immense that we have an ancient custom to spill some wine from our of goblets at the Pesach Seder as we recount each plague to demonstrate our sympathy for their pain. Nevertheless, the story is focused on our pain. We eat matzah to recall the bread of affliction that we ate in slavery. We eat maror to relive the bitterness of our servitude. We dip in salt-water to taste the tears of suffering we endured. In our version of the story, we are the good guys, the Egyptians and the Pharaoh are the bad guys, and God is our Secret Weapon.