(Exodus 1:1 – 5:23)
(Haftara: Yirmiahu 1-2:3)
1. [1:12] “…the more they caused them to suffer, the more they grew…” What is the nature and the source of this quality of the Jewish people that the more we are oppressed, the stronger we become?
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. [3:14] 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?
4. [Haftara: Yirmiahu 1:11] “…I see a rod of an almond tree (shaked)…I watch (shoked) over My word to do it”. God wanted to tell Yirmiahu that God keeps His word. God could have said that. What purpose is served by sending Yirmiahu a vision of an almond tree?
5. [Haftara: Yirmiahu 2:2] “You went after me into the wilderness, into a land that was not sown.” Here, the Jews are praised for trusting God in an unknown situation. Avraham is also praised for trusting God even though he did not know his destination (Breishit 12:1). After Mount Sinai, the Torah seems very clear and predictable. Where in our lives do we follow God into unknown situations?
[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 Rivkah Rochel bat Ya’akov haLevi and Chaya Kornberg, and Yechiel Eliezer ben Yitzchok Meir and Rochel Laya KornbergAnd to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker