Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Shmot
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An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parsha Summary: Shmot


Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Shmot chronicles the creation of Am Yisrael. Paro fears the population explosion of Jews & enslaves them. When their birthrate rises, he orders the Jewish midwives to kill all the newborn males. Yocheved gives birth to Moshe & hides him in the reeds by the Nile. Paro's daughter finds & adopts him, knowing he is a Hebrew. Miriam brings Moshe’s mother Yocheved to be his nursemaid.

Years later, Moshe witnesses an Egyptian beating a Hebrew & Moshe kills the Egyptian. Realizing his life is in danger, Moses flees to Midian for 60 years. There he rescues & weds Zipora, Yitro’s daughter.

On Mt. Sinai, Moshe witnesses the burning bush as G-d commands him to lead the Jewish People from Egypt to the Land of Israel. Moshe is given 3 miracles to validate himself in the people's eyes: Changing his staff to a snake, his healthy hand into a leprous one, & water into blood.

Hashem tells Moshe his brother Aharon will be his spokesman; they petition Paro to release the Jews. Paro responds harshly; now the Jews must produce the same quota of bricks as before but without being given supplies. The people are dispirited, but G-d assures Moshe that He will force Paro to let the Jews out of Egypt.
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