Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sh'mot notes, 5769--my husband's thoughts

I was hoping that my husband, who came home from shul yesterday with lots of interesting thoughts about the connections between Parshat B'reishit & Parshat Sh'mot, would write another d'var Torah (word of Torah/commentary on the Bible). (See his recent d'var Torah concerning the story of Yosef/Joseph, & an earlier 1 concerning sinat chinam [baseless hatred].) But he's in the midst of grading finals & doesn't have the time. So here's the Hillel version (standing on one foot):

  • Parshat B'reishit (the very beginning of the Bible) and Parshat Sh'mot (the beginning of the book of Exodus) are similar in that they squeeze quite a lot into one weekly reading. In Parshat B'reishit, we go from the creation of the world to the expulsion of Adam & Eve from Gan Eden to the murder of Havel/Abel by Kayin/Cain to HaShem's decision to send a flood. In Parshat Sh'mot, we begin with a list of the names of the sons (yes, sons--whatever happened to Dinah, anyway?) of Jacob who went down to Egypt, are introduced to the infamous "Pharoah who knew not Joseph," read of the enslavement of the Hebrews & the attempt to kill all the newborn males, and see Moshe/Moses born & rescued, fleeing to Midian after killing the taskmaster, marrying Tzipporah & spending years as a shepherd, being called to service by HaShem, returning to Egypt with Aharon/Aaron, meeting with the Hebrew elders & going before Pharoah with a petition for the 1st time, & enduring the complaints of the Hebrew slaves that he'd just made matters worse.
  • Just as Adam & Chava (Eve) were expelled from Gan Eden, so, too, the Hebrews will be expelled from Egypt, but, this time, with the intention of returning them to the nearest approximation of Gan Eden, namely, a land flowing with milk & honey.
  • HaShem hears the cries of the Hebrew slaves just as He'd heard the cry of Havel's blood, &, in both cases, takes action to avenge an evil.
See also Sh'mot notes, 5769.


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