Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Parsha catch-up: Vayechi and Sh’mot

Parshat Vayechi

My husband and I both noticed that, throughout the book of B’reishit/Genesis, the lion’s share of the attention is paid to the sons (yes, sons) of Léah and Rachel, with short shrift given to the sons of the concubines and the only daughter. This holds true for Yaakov’s deathbed blessings, as well. The “minor players” get mostly one-liners, and Dinah, the only daughter, gets not even a mention.

[ ¶ ]

Parshat Sh’mot

My husband was puzzled. If, as some theorize, Y’tziat Mitzrayim/the Exodus from Egypt took place at the time of the massive eruption on Thera/Santorini, then Moshe Rabbeinu/Moses our Teacher couldn’t have picked up the idea of a sole god from Akhenaten, since the Exodus would have taken place prior to his reign. So where did he get it from? “Why are you looking at Akhenaten when Moshe spent at least enough time with a Midianite priest (Reuel, Yithro/Jethro?) to father a child?,” I asked. Unfortunately, my husband was not able to unearth much information about Midianite religion. But he did point out that Moshe’s time as a shepherd would prove mighty handy when he had to lead the people in the escape from Egypt and help them survive in the wilderness for forty years.

[ ¶ ]

See also my husband’s and my previous Sh’mot notes—click here, and follow the links.

Update, Fri., Dec. 31, 2011: I recommend Techelet's Sh'mot post.


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