Parshat Shemot

Posted on July 21, 2008

Parshat Shemot marks the start of a new book in the Torah. One unique thing about this book is that it connects to the previous book. The end of Bereshit shows the descent of Yaakov and his sons to Egypt, and the beginning of the exile, while Shemot shows the continuation of the exile and the receiving of the Torah by B’nei Yisroel.

Later in the parsha, we witness the birth of Moshe. Pharaoh?s stargazer saw an image showing a Jewish man leading the Jews out of Egypt. The Egyptian midwives would follow pregnant Jewish women once they reached six months pregnant. Then, at the birth, they would see if it was a boy or girl, and if it was a boy they would strangle the baby and tell the mother the baby was born dead. Hashem allowed Moshe?s mother to give birth to Moshe 3 months early, after 6 months. This was right before the midwives would have started following her, yet when they did start following her, they saw she wasn?t pregnant anymore and assumed she had a miscarriage. This is the first sign that Moshe would be the savior of B’nei Yisroel because Hashem saved his life.

We later see Moshe encounter and Egyptian man striking a Jew. After the Jew had left, Moshe killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. This event caused Moshe to flee to the land of Midian, where he married the daughter of the Minister of Midian. While Moshe was shepherding his father-in-law?s sheep, he came across a burning bush. This is where Hashem first showed Himself to Moshe. Here, Hashem told Moshe that he would be B’nei Yisroel?s savior and lead them out of Egypt. Moshe, as usual, was modest and claimed that B’nei Yisroel wouldn?t listen to him, and they wouldn?t want to leave Egypt with him.