Friday, Tevet 22, 5777 / January 20, 2017
This Shabbat we begin reading the second book of the Torah, the Book of Exodus – Shmot.
Although it is commonly called, Exodus, yet, the story of the Exodus will be told in the third Parsha of the Book of Shmot - Parshat Bo.
In this week’s Torah portion we read about the enslavement of the Jewish people and the difficulties they experienced in Egypt and about Pharaoh’s decree to drown every Jewish boy that was born.
We also read how Moshe was shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep when G-d called on him from the burning bush to go to Pharaoh and command him to let the people go.
Next week we will read about the plagues which G-d brought on the Egyptians for refusing to let the children of Israel go free. Then, in Parshat Bo, we will read about the actual Exodus.
Q.Did Moshe immediately accept the role of becoming leader of the Jewish people?
A.The Torah goes into detail how Moshe was very reluctant to accept his role. He protested that he was hard of speech and wouldn’t do justice in delivering G-d’s message. He suggested that Aaron was older than him and would be more suitable for this mission.
G-d reminded Moshe, "Who gave man a mouth? Who makes a person dumb or deaf? Who gives a person sight or makes him blind? Is it not I - G-d? Now go and I will be with your mouth and teach you what to say." It took seven days until Moshe agreed to accept his mission.
Moshe was the greatest leader of the Jewish people. It tells us that the quality of great leadership is not when one pushes himself to be a leader. Moshe’s greatness was in his humility,as the Torah later testifies about Moshe that he was the most humble person upon the face of the earth. That is the quality of leadership.
Q. The Torah begins describing G-d's revelation to Moshe with the words, "And Moshe was attending to the flock of his father-in-law, Yitro." What is the connection between Moshe's attending to the flock and G-d's choosing him as the leader of the people of Israel?
A.The Midrash explains that both Moshe and King David showed extra devotion and care to the individual needs of the sheep in their flocks.
G-d said, "If they are so devoted to the sheep in their flocks, they will certainly care for the individual needs of My people!" This is why G-d chose them to lead His people.
Montreal candle lighting time: 4:27 / Shabbat ends: 5:36
Thursday, Tevet 21, 5777 / January 19, 2017
The birth of the greatest leader of the Jewish people, Moshe, is told in this week’s Parsha, Shmot. From this Parsha on until the end of the Torah, Moshe’s name will appear in almost every Parsha.
Moshe’s mother’s name was Yocheved and his father was Amram. Yocheved was her husband’s aunt.After the giving of the Torah, a relationship as this is prohibited, however, this was beforethe Torah was given.
G-d chose Moshe at the burning bush, to go warn Pharaoh to let the Jewish people go. When Pharaoh refused, he brought upon the Egyptians the ten plagues. Moshe led the Jewish people out of Egypt. He split the sea and brought them to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. Moshe led his people for forty years, until they came to the Jordan River, ready to cross into the Promised Land.
Moshe achieved what no other Jewish leader did. The Torah testifies about him, “And there was no prophet as great as Moshe, to whom G-d made Himself known, face to face.”
Q.How old was Moshe’s mother, Yocheved, when she gave birth to Moshe?
A.Moshe’s birth was a miracle in itself. Yocheved, was 130when she gave birth to Moshe in Egypt.
Q. Where was Yocheved born?
A. She is counted in the seventy people who came with Yaakov (Jacob) to Egypt. She was born as they entered the gates of Egypt. This is why her name is not mentioned when the Torah names all of Yaakov’s descendents who left Canaan to go to Egypt, as she was not yet born when they left Canaan. She completed number seventy.
Q.How did Moshe get his name, Moshe?
A. The Torah tells that due to Pharaoh’s decree that every Jewish boy be drowned in the Nile River, Yocheved tried to protect her newborn son and hid him for three months after birth. When she realized that the Egyptians are about to discover her son, she placed him in a basket and put it by the river, hoping that someone will find him and save him. Indeed it was Pharaoh’s daughter, Batya, who found him and saved him. Moshe eventually was raised by Batya in the house of Pharaoh.
Q.Why was she able to hide him for only three months?
A.Pharaoh’s agents kept track of every pregnant Jewish woman. However, Yocheved gave birth to Moshe in the beginning of her seventh month. Pharaoh’s agents didn’t check on her only at the end of the ninth month. Thus she was able to hide him three months, before they became suspicious.
HAVE A VERY GOOD, HAPPY, HEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL DAY