Parashat Beshalach Visions, Real and Imagined

Referring to this week’s reading, Parashat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17 - 17:16), the midrash provides a contrast to both Isaiah’s and Ezekiel’s perceptions of God’s image.

In the first chapter of Ezekiel, referred to as Ma’aseh Merkaba (Vision of the Chariot), the prophet says he “saw visions of God,” when he was “among the captives by the river Chebar” (Ezekiel 1:1). This is the most detailed description any prophet gives of God; Ezekiel describes God’s chariot, the animals bearing it and God’s very image.