This week’s portion tells the story of the parting of the Red Sea, the culmination of the Exodus from Egypt, and includes the Song of Moses (and the shorter Song of Miriam). Grand events happen in this week’s Torah reading and it is, indeed, an awe- inspiring few chapters.
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Print Are we ready for redemption? This week’s portion begins with Exodus 6:2. God speaks to Moses and explains to him that He is the God who appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that He hears the suffering of the Children of Israel and that He will keep His promise with … Read more
This week we begin the Book of Exodus. The first portion is one of transformation – the children of Israel, the family of Jacob, become the “Hebrews” and the Children of Israel, with a national focus.
This week we read the Song of Moses, one of Moses’ final speeches to the Children of Israel before his death. The only other words Moses speaks to the nation after this are the words of blessing in Deuteronomy Chapter 33
Thousands gathered at the Western Wall, the closest we could get to where the Temple once stood, and the President of Israel, then Chaim Herzog, read aloud from the Torah. It was indeed an awesome experience.
We are often witness to the fact that the nations of the world hold the Jewish people and the State of Israel to a higher standard. Frankly, in most cases, those nations are not really interested in placing Israel on a higher pedestal, but creating a basis for criticism against Israel.
Throughout their desert experience, the Children of Israel felt the pull to return to Egypt, and Moses needed to enable them to understand the advantages of freedom, which is accompanied by servitude to G-d. Therefore, it was critical that the Children of Israel be reliant upon G-d for their food and water and understand that simple food and water from G-d as free persons is preferable to watermelon and fish in Egypt as slaves.
On the 9th of Av we also read the book of Lamentations, that terribly poignant description of the destruction of the First Temple written by Jeremiah, an eye-witness to the events he describes.
A simple structure constructed of volunteered items easily found in ordinary households, the Tabernacle represents the very essence of human freedom and equality.
One of the most tragic events in the Bible takes place in this week’s reading. Leviticus 10 begins with the story of the death of Nadav and Avihu, who brought a “strange fire” before G-d. It is not clear exactly what Nadav and Avihu did that angered G-d.