Shemot – Shishi

Married in Blood

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Moshe said goodbye to his father-in-law, here called Yeser. Before Moshe left, G-d appeared to tell him that anyone who wanted to execute him for his earlier actions was already deceased. (Well, that’s one less thing to worry about!) Tzipporah had just had another baby; Moshe put his wife and sons on a donkey and headed for Egypt. On the way, G-d told him what to expect: Pharaoh would be stubborn, but Moshe was to persist. He was to inform Pharaoh that Israel is G-d’s first-born and refusal could cost Pharaoh the life of his own first-born.

Moshe’s newborn son, Eliezer, had not yet been circumcised. (Moshe put it off because of the trip to Egypt.) When the family stopped for the night, G-d sent an angel that endangered Moshe’s life. Tzipporah realized the cause for this. She immediately circumcised their son and cast the foreskin at Moshe’s feet. The angel broke off the attack. “We are wedded by the blood of this circumcision,” Tzipporah told her husband. (Her words are enigmatic and can be interpreted in a number of different ways.)

As Moshe approached Egypt, G-d told Aharon to go out and meet him. Aharon kissed his brother, who told him about his mission. They gathered the elders and Aharon, acting as Moshe’s spokesman, explained it all to them. The people believed and were grateful to G-d.

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