Parshat Shmot   

(Exodus 1:1 – 5:23)

(Haftara: Yirmiahu 1-2:3)

  1. [2:1] “A man from the house of Levi took a woman from the house of Levi (as a wife).” Our tradition tells us that Moshe’s father married his own aunt, and that that act was permitted before the Torah was given at Mt. Sinai. Why did the Hebrews have different laws before the Torah was given from the laws after the Torah was given?
  2. 2. [3:2] “…the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed.” If God had revealed Himself in a more impressive way, Moshe might have been more eager to accept God’s mission. Why did God reveal Himself to Moshe in a bush?
  3. [3:13] “…and they will say to me, ‘What is His name’, what shall I say to them?” Why does God need a name? Why can’t Moshe say that our God is so universal that He is beyond names?
  4. [4:10] “…I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue.” The Israelites had to be convinced to leave Egypt, and Pharoah had to be convinced to let them leave. Why didn’t God choose a more eloquent and charismatic leader for the Israelites?
  5. [Haftara: Yirmiahu 2:2] “I remember for you the affection of your youth…” In the way of the Torah, we are always trying to renew ourselves, and return to fresh perceptions. However, our cycle of the year in almost the same as last year and our daily prayers are almost the same as yesterday’s. How is it that we can have such regular practices and at the same time value fresh perceptions?

 

Commentary

Under all conditions it is important to find the quality of goodness in a person, and if its light is weak, it must be brightened through Torah and prayer.

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