(Exodus 1:1 – 5:23)

(Haftara: Isaiah 27:6- 28:13, 29:22,23)

  1. [1:21] When the Israelite midwives save the new-born boys, God rewards them with houses. Why is their reward houses?
  1. [2:23] When the Israelites screamed, God heard them and the redemption started. The Torah does not say that they screamed to God, but only that they screamed. The Torah speaks both on the physical and the spiritual level. On an individual spiritual level, when a person screams out of his or her pain, why is that the beginning of their redemption?
  1. [3:14] God tells Moshe to tell the Israelites that His name is “Ehyeh asher ehyeh”—usually translated as “I will be what I will be”. Why would God want to be known by this name?
  1. [4:10] Moshe says that he is not fit for the mission of taking the Israelites out of Egypt because he has some kind of speech impediment. Later his speech seems to be fine and we are never told how he improved. What might have caused the improvement in Moshe’s speech?
  1. (Haftara: Isaiah 27:12) When Isaiah speaks of the final redemption, he says that we will be “gathered one by one”. Why not in groups? What does this phrase tell us about the final redemption?

Commentary

[Exodus 1:1] “And these are the names of the children of Israel.”

Rashi: (This is written) “to make known His love—that they are compared to stars.”

The Israelites should know that God loves them, and just like He created the stars in order that they should light up the night– so also He created Israel so that they should spread the light of God and and make it enter the darkest and lowest places.

–The Sfat Emet– Reb Yehuda Leib Alter of Gur—19th century

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker

And to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer