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Parshat Shemot


5760 This week we are introduced to Moshe, 'the Faithful Shepherd' of the Jewish people. Moshe was a true leader. If it were not for his leadership the Jewish people would never have left Egypt (in fact the majority remained behind) and certainly would not have received the Torah.
5761 This week’s Torah Portion section talks about the Exile of the Jews in Egypt and it is filled with questions from the beginning to the end.
5762 At the end of this week's section, we see Moses doing three "introductory" miracles for the Jewish people. The first of which was turning his staff into a snake and then back again. Maimonides writes (Yesodi Ha Torah 8:1) that the Jews believed in Moses because they heard G-d speak to him at Mount Siani, but not because of the miracles he did; miracles can be done by magicians as well.
5763 This week's section is called, in Hebrew, 'Names'. It begins with a list of the names of the tribes, and it contains an interesting dialogue between Moses and G-d by the burning bush about G-d's names (3:13).
5764 This week's section begins THE ultimate story: An entire nation of over two million slaves, through no power of their own, decimated one of the greatest superpowers of all time and escaped, all together, to freedom.
5765 This week's section begins and ends with tragedy. It opens with the decree of Pharaoh to enslave the Jews and kill their male babies and ends with Moses complaining to G-d for not stopping it.
5766 This week's section begins the awesome saga of the 210 year imprisonment and miraculous escape of an entire nation. Never even vaguely similar in history has anything occurred nor has any religion or nation even claimed so; the scope and depth of these events simply defies human imagination.
5767 This week's Torah portion begins the story of how G-d, the creator of the universe, personally and miraculously brought millions of people; the entire Jewish nation, to physical and spiritual freedom and eventually gave them His Torah. This story is the foundation of Judaism, the first two of the Ten Commandments (I am G-d that took you from Egypt. Don't worship 'other gods'.) and the key to world peace, blessing and prosperity.
5768 The Torah is much more than a religion book. Rather, it is the blueprint and instruction manual of creation and if learned properly (according to Kabala and Chassidut) we can discover how and why the world was made and what we can do to make it better.
5769 This week we begin the second book of the Pentateuch; the book of Exodus (Shmot) where we are introduced to three concepts found only in Judaism: Exile, Redemption and most important...Moses.
5770 This week's Torah portion ends on a very sour note. Moses, the paradigm of faith in G-d, seemingly questions the deeds of the Almighty! Moses bitterly complained to G-d: "Why are you torturing this people? Why did You even send me?!" (6:22)
5772 This week's Torah portion begins the Second book of the Bible. In English it's called Exodus because it deals with the Exodus from Egypt. But in Hebrew it is called SHMOS which means "Names".
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