Love Does Not Give in to Power
The beginning of Exodus shows us a wonderful alliance between women, cooperating for life beyond social hierarchies, husbands and fathers, oppressors and oppressed. These alliances between women have saved many lives during the wars and dictatorships of men, by building ‘baskets’ of salvation with their hands. These are the covenants that we continue to see in our cities, and the ones that allow our children to live and grow up. Children should be saved: it is the law of midwives, women, the first law of the earth. In this first chapter we encounter the splendid figures of two midwives, Shiphrah and Puah. These two women tell us that children should not be killed, neither the children of the Egyptians, nor those of the Jews should ever be killed. Children should not be killed either in Egypt or in any place. Yesterday, today, ever. If we want to remain human, that is. And every time we do not do so, we do not ‘fear God’, we do not obey life and we deny the legacy of the midwives of Egypt. In Shiphrah and Puah, two workers, two human beings on the side of life, echoes of the Greek myth of Antigone may be heard, she disobeys the king to obey the more profound law of life: to bury his brother who died in battle.