Thursday, January 12, 2012

Parshat Sh'mot/Shemot (whatever)

You can read the basics here.

Here are some oldies of mine, which I tried to line up in chronological order/order of posting. Some of them also include references to future parshiot (parashot?), but I'm posting them here, lest I forget. I'm going to be a bit busy for the next few days.
[Jan. 6, 2013 update--I recommend that you read the whole post, which has too much interesting info in it, comments included, to summarize in a short highlight.]

"Haftarat Sh’mot
. . . For Ashkenazim: I said this years ago in a d’var Torah ("word of Torah," Torah discussion) and I’ll say it again—“For with stammering lips and a strange tongue shall it be spoken to this people” describes the speech of a person with a speech impediment. This may be the sort of thing that’s more likely to catch the eye of the mother of a hard-of-hearing child who spent sixteen years in speech therapy."
"Call me a faithless coward, but if someone, or even The One, told me to grab a snake by the tail . . ."
"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 . .. 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, . . . [and end with Moshe] enduring the complaints of the Hebrew slaves that he'd just made matters worse."
"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."


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