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Yitro – Sh’vi’i
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The people saw the sounds (you didn’t misread that: they saw the sounds!) as well as the fire and everything else that was going on. They were terrified that the experience would literally be the death of them, so they told Moshe, “You know what? From now on, why don’t you just talk to G-d […]
Yitro – Haftarah
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The connection of the first half of this haftarah to our Torah reading is clear, since it is Isaiah’s vision of God; just as the Jews’ saw God at Sinai, Isaiah sees God here. The second half does not fit so well, either with the first half or with the Torah reading, since it takes […]
Beshalach – Rishon
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When G-d led the Jews out of Egypt, He did not take them the shorter route, by way of the Philistines, because He knew that the sight of armed resistance would discourage the people. Instead, they took the “scenic route,” to the Red Sea. (The Yam Suf, or “Sea of Reeds” may or may not […]
Beshalach – Sheini
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A nation of two million with all their possession and livestock is not the fastest thing in the world, so the Jews were easily overtaken by the swiftly-moving Egyptian cavalry. This was a turn of events that did not exactly thrill the Jewish people. “What, there weren’t enough graves in Egypt?” they said to Moshe. […]
Beshalach – Shlishi
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G-d said to Moshe, “What’s with all the talk? Get busy!” He told Moshe to raise his staff over the sea. This would cause the sea to split so that Moshe could lead the Jews through on dry land. Meanwhile, G-d would take care of the approaching Egyptian army. G-d moved His pillar from the […]
Beshalach – R’vi’i
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G-d told Moshe to again reach out over the sea, this time to cause it to close up on the army of Egypt. This he did, and the soldiers were covered by the sea. When the Jews saw their former pursuers wash up on the shore, they were in awe of G-d. They placed their […]
Beshalach – Chamishi
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Next, they moved to Elim, which had plenty of water and date trees. From there, they moved to the desert, where they started to complain about the food, or lack thereof. “If only we had died in Egypt!” they argued. “At least we could eat our fill there! Dying in the plagues would have been […]
Beshalach – Shishi
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That evening, a flock of quail landed in the Jews’ camp. There was their meat. And in the morning, when the dew evaporated, they saw fine particles on the ground. They had never seen anything like it. Moshe informed them that it was the bread G-d had promised. They were to take an omer’s worth […]
Beshalach – Sh’vi’i
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The Jews moved their camp to Refidim where, again, there was no water. And, again, they complained to Moshe. “What do you want from me?” he asked. “Are you trying to antagonize G-d?” The people replied with their usual refrain of, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, just so we could die of […]
Beshalach – Haftarah
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The tempting answer to this question is that it contains a song of praise to God, like in the Torah reading itself. Indeed, Sefardi custom limits the haftarah to the Shirah, the Song. Ashkenazic custom, which reads the story leading up to the Song, seems to add another element; along these lines the Mechilta says […]