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Shemot – Rishon
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This aliyah begins with a recap of the names of Yaakov’s sons, who descended to Egypt. (Names = Shemos, hence the name of this sedra and the Hebrew name of this Book!) All told, there were seventy blood relatives of Yaakov, including Yoseif and his sons, who were already in Egypt. The generation of Yoseif […]
Shemot – Sheini
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Pharaoh called the midwives and castigated them for not carrying out his orders. The midwives excused themselves by telling him that the Jewish women were more robust than the Egyptians; they usually deliver before the midwife even arrives! Because the midwives risked their lives in defense of the helpless, G-d rewarded them with “houses.” (Rashi […]
Shemot – Shlishi
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Moshe grew up under Pharaoh’s own roof as a prince of the nation. He got in the habit of going out to see what his native people were up to. One day, he saw an Egyptian taskmaster beating a Jewish slave. (It’s possible that the taskmaster killed the slave; the Hebrew verb to strike could […]
Shemot – R’vi’i
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Moshe worked as a shepherd for his father-in-law, Yisro. On one occasion, he brought his flocks to a particular mountain in Choreiv (Horeb – AKA Mount Sinai; we’ll be seeing more of this particular mountain in a few weeks!) G-d appeared to Moshe from the midst of a thorn bush that was on fire but […]
Shemot – Chamishi
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G-d told Moshe to gather the elders of the people and tell them that G-d had sent him to take them out of Egypt to the Holy Land; G-d gave Moshe the “password” that Yoseif had communicated on his deathbed. (Compare 3:16 here with Genesis 50:24-25.) Moshe and the elders were to approach Pharaoh and […]
Shemot – Shishi
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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 […]