Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD. They said:
I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously;
Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea.
The LORD is my strength and might;
He is become my deliverance.
This is my God and I will enshrine Him;
The God of my father, and I will exalt Him.
Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, Your right hand, O LORD shatters the foe!
Mekhilta d’Rabbi Yishmael 15:2
This is my God and I will extol Him: R. Eliezer says: Whence is it derived that a maid-servant beheld at the Red Sea what was not beheld by Ezekiel and the other prophets…But when the Holy One was revealed at the sea, there was no need for anyone to ask “Who is the King?” For when they saw Him, they knew Him, and they all opened and said “This is my God, and I will extol Him (“ve’anvehu,” lit: “I will ‘host’ Him”)!” R. Yishmael says: Is it possible to “host” one’s Master? Rather, (read “ve’anvehu” as) “I shall beautify myself (from the root, “na’eh”) before Him with mitzvot — with a beautiful lulav, beautiful tzitzit, a beautiful shofar, beautiful prayer. Abba Shaul says, ” I will like myself to Him” (i.e., “ve’anvehu” = ani vehu [“I and He”]) Just as He is merciful and gracious, you, too, be merciful and gracious.
RIGHT HAND – twice! – When Israel performs the will of the Omnipresent the left hand (intended for punishment) becomes a right hand (bestowing reward, so that God has two right hands as it were) (Mekhilta d’Rabbi Yishmael 15:5)
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
this is because the maidservants see firsthand how all of physical nature is not actually fixed but can suddenly change from one extreme to the other. The whole conception that the world is a place with strict laws and a set order collapses. The splitting of the sea demonstrated to the maidservants and to the rest of the People of Israel that everything we see in the world is a mere theatrical performance … The entire world dissolved and melted before the eyes of Israel into new forms and patterns: Before, the sea was water; now it has become dry land. The people understood that the world is no longer governed by rigid laws; everything has become possible.
And after all that, he [the ordinary Jew] must crash back down into the mundane reality of the world. What is going on in his mind? How can he deal with these conflicting states of consciousness?
we see the great difficulty of moving from a world where everything is perfect, where the rules of physics can be altered on a benevolent divine whim, to a world that unforgivingly follows the way of the world. … there is a deep disappointment from the very discovery that the world still exists.
man cannot be induced by external means to make a change in his essential nature. Neither miracles nor bread from heaven can, in and of themselves, change human nature. Human nature can change, but we must make these changes from within.
Rabbi Yehudah Leib, Alter of Ger
This song and the attachment to God have been implanted in the Jewish soul forever. But until the Exodus of Egypt, we were not able to call it forth. … So it is on every Sabbath that soul and desire are set free.
[for the manna is called “bread from heaven”]. There is also “bread from the earth” — this refers to the redemptive work the righteous have to do each day. That bread rises upward. And then there is the bread that comes down to them from heaven. On Sabbath we have two loaves joined together, to point to these two kinds of bread.