There were Jews who were willing to cooperate with the governmental authorities in policing the Jewish slave society. Eventually, these Jews also found themselves to be the victims of the Pharaoh and his cruel decree.
The opening chapters of Exodus plunge us into the midst of epic events. Yet it is one small, often overlooked episode that deserves to be seen as a turning-point in the history of humanity. Its heroines are two remarkable women, Shifra and Puah.
But is this really Moshe? Does the great defender of Israel – humble as he may surely be – not want to help save Am Yisrael from their dreadful plight?! It almost seems that Moshe is more concerned for himself than for us!
In this week's Torah reading Hashem promises Moshe he will redeem the nation of Israel out of Egypt and he will take them to a good and broad land. How can such a small land be called broad? The Natziv explains this issue.
Moshe’s first action as an emerging leader was that he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite and killed the Egyptian (Shemot 2:11-12). This was followed by confronting two Israelites fighting and trying to stop them, only to be scorned, “Who has placed you as an officer and judge over us? Will you kill me the way that you killed the Egyptian?” (ibid. 14). Moshe was then sought by Paroh and slated for execution, but he managed to escape to Midian.
Before the appointment of Moshe at the burning bush, the pasuk announces: “Hashem saw Bnei Yisrael, and Hashem knew (vayeda)” (Shemot 2:25). Many of our great commentators have toiled to explain this pasuk, especially its conclusion. Doesn’t Hashem always know everything? What exactly is it here that Hashem “knew,” and what does it have to do with Bnei Yisrael’s burgeoning redemption?