Song of Songs and the Exodus

‘Shir Ha-Shirim’ {שיר השירים} – Hebrew for the biblical book of ‘Song of Songs’ (AKA ‘Song of Solomon’) is part of the traditional Jewish “five biblical scrolls” (the other four are: Esther, Ruth, Ecclesiastes and Lamentations) which are being read publicly at the synagogue in different holidays and events across the year.

It is customary to read ‘Song of Songs’ on the Shabbat of Passover and this year it is being read today. The reason why is because this biblical book of poetry was chosen specifically for Passover is because of an old Jewish tradition that interpreted the content of ‘Song of Songs’ as an allegory – which manifested in a ‘love story’ – for the Exodus from Egypt and the redemption of Israel.

This unique interpretation is based on the structure of the poetry of ‘song of Songs,’ which is a cycle that describes the WORST of moments and eventually the BEST of moments in a form of a love song – in resemblance to the story of the children of Israel in Egypt:

They were enslaved in Egypt and suffered for a long time (worst moment) but then, everything changed when God saved them at this time of the year (best moment).