Parshat Sh’mot

Sh’mot (Exodus) 1:1 — 6:1

1st Aliyah: 1:1—17
1And these are the names of the Children of Yisra’el who were coming to Mitzrayim; with Yaakov, each man and his household came. 2Reuven, Simeon, Levi, and Yehudah; 3Issachar, Zevulun, and Benyamin; 4Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. 5And all the persons who emerged from Yaakov’s loins were seventy souls and Yosef was in Mitzrayim. 6Yosef died, and all his brothers and that entire generation. 7The Children of Yisra’el were fruitful, teemed, increased, and became strong—very, very much so; and the land became filled with them.

8A new king arose from Mitzrayim, who did not know Yosef. 9He said to his people, “Behold! the people, the Children of Yisra’el, are more numerous and stronger than we. 10Come, let us outsmart it lest it become numerous and it may be that if a war will occur, it, too, may join our enemies, and wage war against us and go up from the land.”

11So they appointed taskmasters over it in order to afflict it with burdens; it built storage cities for Pharaoh, Pithom and Ramses. 12But as much as they would afflict it, so it would increase and so it would spread out; and they became disgusted because of the Children of Yisra’el. 13The Egyptians enslaved the Children of Yisra’el with crushing harshness. 14They embittered their lives with hard work, with mortar and with bricks, and with every labor of the field; all their labors that they performed with them were with crushing harshness.

15The king of Mitzrayim said to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the first was Shifrah and the name of the second was Puah—16and he said, “When you deliver the Hebrew woman, and you see them on the birthstool; if it is a son, you are to kill him, and if it is a daughter, she shall live.” 17But the midwives feared G-d and they did not do as the king of Mitzrayim spoke to them, and they caused the boys to live.

2nd Aliyah: 1:18—2:10
18The king of Mitzrayim summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing that you have caused the boys to live!”

19The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are unlike the Egyptian women, for they are experts; before the midwife comes to them, they have given birth.”

20G-d benefited the midwives—and the people increased and became very strong. 21And it was because the midwives feared G-d that He made them houses.

22Pharaoh commanded his entire people, saying, “Every son that will be born—into the River shall you throw him! And every daughter shall you keep alive!”

Chapter 2
1A man went from the house of Levi and he took a daughter of Levi. 2The women conceived and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was good and she hid him for three months. 3She could not hide him any longer, so she took for him a wicker basket and smeared it with clay and pitch; she placed the boy into it and placed it among the reeds at the bank of the River. 4His sister stationed herself at a distance to know what would be done with him.

5Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe by the River and her maidens walked along the River. She saw the basket among the reeds and she sent her maidservant and she took it. 6She opened it and saw him, the boy, and behold! a youth was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew boys.”

7His sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and summon for you a wet nurse from the Hebrew women, who will nurse the boy for you?”

8The daughter of Pharaoh said, “Go.” The girl went and summoned the boy’s mother. 9Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take the boy and nurse him for me, and I will give you pay.” So the women took the boy and nursed him. 10The boy grew up and she brought him to the daughter of Pharaoh and he was a son to her. She called his name Moshe, as she said, “For I drew him from the water.”

3rd Aliyah: 2:11—25
11It happened in those days that Moshe grew up and went out to his brethren and observed their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew man of his brethren. 12He turned this was and that and saw that there was no man, so he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

13He went out the next day and behold! two Hebrew men were fighting. He said to the wicked one, “Why would you strike your fellow?” 14He replied, “Who appointed you as a dignitary, a ruler, and a judge over us?” Do you propose to murder me, as you murdered the Egyptian?” Moshe was frightened and he thought, “Indeed, the matter is known.” 15Pharaoh heard about this matter and sought to kill Moshe; so Moshe fled from Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian. He sat by a well.

16The minister of Midian had seven daughters; they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s sheep. 17The shepherds came and drove them away. Moshe got up and saved them and watered their sheep. 18They came to Reuel their father. He said, “How could you come so quickly today?” 19They replied, “An Egyptian man saved us from the shepherds, and he even drew water for us and watered the sheep.” 20He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why did you leave the man? Summon him and let him eat bread!”

21Moshe desired to dwell with the man; and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moshe. 22She gave birth to a son and he named him Gershon, for he said, “I have been a stranger to a foreign land.”

23During those many days, it happened that the king of Mitzrayim died, and the Children of Yisra’el groaned because of the work and they cried out. Their outcry because of the work went up to G-d. 24G-d head their moaning, and G-d remembered His covenant with Avraham, with Yitschak, and with Yaakov. 25G-d saw the Children of Yisra’el; and G-d knew.

4th Aliyah: 3:1—15
Chapter 3
1Moshe was shepherding the sheep of Yethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; he guided the sheep into the wilderness, and he arrived at the Mountain of G-d, toward Horev. 2An angel of HaShem appeared to him in a blaze of fire from amid the bush. He saw and behold! the bush was burning in the fire but the bush was not consumed. 3Moshe thought, “I will turn aside now and look at this great sight—why will he bush not be burned?”

4HaShem saw that he turned aside to see; and G-d called out to him from amid the bush and said, “Moshe, Moshe,” and he replied, “Here I am!” 5He said, “Do not come close to here, remove your shoes from your feet, for the place upon which you stand is holy ground.” 6And He said, “I am the G-d of your father, the G-d of Avraham the G-d Yitschak, the G-d of Yaakov.” Moshe hid is face, for he was afraid to gaze toward G-d.

7HaShem said, “I have indeed the affliction of My people that is in Mitzrayim and I have heard its outcry because of its taskmasters, for I have known of its sufferings. 8I shall descend to rescue it from the hand of Mitzrayim and to bring it up from the land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite, and the Yevusite. 9And now, behold! the outcry of the Children of Yisra’el has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10And now, go and I shall dispatch you to Pharaoh and you shall take My people the Children of Yisra’el out of Mitzrayim.”

11Moshe replied to G-d, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should take the Children of Yisra’el out of Mitzrayim?”

12And He said, “For I shall be with you—and this is your sign that I have sent you: When you take the people out of Mitzrayim, you will serve G-d on this mountain.”

13Moshe said to G-d, “Behold, when I come to the Children of Yisra’el and say to them, ‘The G-d of your forefathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His Name?’—what shall I say to them?”

14HaShem answered Moshe, “I Shall Be As I Shall Be.” And He said, “So shall you say to the Children of Yisra’el, ‘I Shall Be has sent me to you.’ ” 15G-d said further to Moshe, “So shall you say to the Children of Yisra’el, ‘HaShem the G-d of your forefathers, the G-d of Avraham, the G-d of Yitschak, the G-d of Yaakov has dispatched me to you. This is My Name forever; this is My remembrance from generation to generation.”

5th Aliyah: 3:16—4:17
16Go and gather the elders of Yisra’el and say to them, ‘HaShem, the G-d of your forefathers, has appeared to me, the G-d of Avraham, Yitschak, and Yaakov, saying, “I have surely remembered you and what is done to you in Mitzrayim.” 17And I have said, ‘I shall bring you up from the affliction of Mitzrayim to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite, and the Yevusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.’

18“They will heed your voice. You and the elders of Yisra’el shall come to the king of Mitzrayim and say to him, ‘HaShem, the G-d of the Hebrews, happened upon us. And now, please let us go on a three-day journey in the Wilderness, and we shall bring an offering to HaShem, our G-d.’ 19I know that the king of Mitzrayim will not allow you to go, except through a strong hand. 20I shall stretch out My hand and I shall strike Mitzrayim with all My wonders that I shall perform in its midst, and after that he will send you out. 21I shall grant this people favor in the eyes of Mitzrayim, so that it will happen that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. 22Each women shall request from her neighbor and from the one who lives in her house silver vessels, golden vessels, and garments; and you shall put them on your sons and daughters, and you shall empty out Mitzrayim.”

Chapter 4
1Moshe responded and said, “But they will not believe me and they will not heed my voice, for they will say, ‘HaShem did not appear to you.’ ”

2HaShem said to him, “What is that in your hand?” and he said, “A staff.” 3He said, “Cast it on the ground,” and he cast it on the ground and it became a snake. Moshe fled from it. 4HaShem said to Moshe, “Stretch out your hand and grasp its tail.” He stretched out his hand and grasped it tightly, and it became a staff in his palm. 5“So that they shall believe hat HaShem, the G-d of their forefathers, appeared to you, the G-d of Avraham, the G-d of Yitschak, and the G-d of Yaakov.” 6HaShem said further to him, “Bring your into your bosom,” and he brought his hand to his bosom; then he withdrew it and behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. 7He said, “Return your hand to your bosom,” and he returned his hand to his bosom; then he removed it from his bosom and behold, it reverted to be like his flesh. 8“It shall be that if they do not believe you and do not heed the voice of the latter sign. 9And it shall be that if they do not believe even these two signs and do not heed your voice, then you shall take from the water of the River and pour it out on the dry land and the water that you take from the River will become blood when it is on the dry land.”

10Moshe replied to HaShem, “Please, my L-rd, I am not a man of words, not since yesterday, nor since the day before yesterday, nor since You first spoke to Your servant, for I am heavy of mouth and heavy of speech.”

11Then HaShem said to him, “Who makes a mouth for man, or who makes one dumb or deaf, or sighted or blind? Is it not I, HaShem? 12So now, go! I shall be with your mouth and teach what you should say.”

13He replied, “Please, my L-rd, send through whomever You will send!”

14The wrath of HaShem burned against Moshe and He said, Is there not Aharon your brother, the Levite? I know that he will surely speak; moreover, behold, he is going out to meet you and when he sees you he will rejoice in his heart. 15You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I shall be with your mouth and with his mouth, and teach you both what you are to do. 16He shall speak for you to the people; and it will be that he will be your mouth and you will be his leader. 17And this staff you shall take in your hand, with which you will perform the signs.”

6th Aliyah: 4:18—31
18So Moshe went and returned to Yether, his father-in-law, and said to him, “Let me now go back to my brethren who are in Mitzrayim, and see if they are still alive.” And Yethro said to Moshe, “Go to peace.”

19HaShem said to Moshe in Midian, “Go, return to Mitzrayim, for all the people who seek your life have died.”

20So Moshe took his wife and sons, mounted them on the donkey, and returned to the land of Mitzrayim; and Moshe took the staff of G-d in his hand. 21HaShem said to Moshe, “When you go to return to Mitzrayim, see all the wonders that I have put in your hand and perform them before Pharaoh; but I shall strengthen his heart and he will not send out the people. 22You shall say to Pharaoh, ‘So said HaShem, My firstborn son is Yisra’el. 23So I say to you, Send out My son that he may serve Me—but you have refused to send him out; behold, I shall kill your firstborn son.’ ”

24It was on the way, in the lodging, that HaShem encountered him and sought to kill him. 25So Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and touched it to his feet; and she said, “You caused my bridegroom’s bloodshed!” 26So he he released him; then she said, “A bridegroom’s bloodshed was because of circumcision.”

27HaShem said to Aharon, “Go to meet Moshe, to the wilderness.” So he went and encountered him at the mountain of G-d, and he kissed him. 28Moshe related to Aharon all the words of HaShem, that He had dispatched him, and all the signs that He commanded him.

29Moshe and Aharon went and gathered all the elders of the Children of Yisra’el. 30Aharon spoke all the words that HaShem had spoken to Moshe; and he performed the signs in the sight o the people. 31And the people believed, and they heard that HaShem had remembered the Children of Yisra’el and that He saw their affliction, and they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves.

7th Aliyah: 5:1—6:1
Chapter 5
1Afterwards Moshe and Aharon came and said to Pharaoh, “So said HaShem, the G-d of Yisra’el, ‘Send out My people that hey may celebrate for Me in the Wilderness.’ ”

2Pharaoh replied, “Who is HaShem that I should heed His voice to send out Yisra’el? I do not know HaShem, nor will I send Yisra’el!” 3So they said, “The G-d of the Hebrews happened upon us. Let us now go fr a three-day journey in the Wilderness and we shall bring offerings to HaShem, our G-d, lest He strikes us dead with the plaque of the sword.” 4The king of Mitzrayim said to them, “Moshe and Aharon, why do yo disturb the people from its work? Go to your burdens.” 5And Pharaoh said, “Behold! the people of the land are now numerous, and you would have them cease fro their burdens!”

6On that day Pharaoh ordered the taskmasters over the people and its foremen, saying, 7“You shall no longer give straw to the people to manufacture the bricks as yesterday and before yesterday; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8But the quota of bricks that they were making yesterday and before yesterday you shall impose upon them—do not reduce it—for they are lazy; therefore they cry out saying, ‘Let us go and bring offerings to our G-d.’ 9Let the work be heavier upon the men and let them engage in it; and let them not pay attention to false words.”

10The taskmasters of the people and its foremen went out and spoke to the people, saying, “So said Pharaoh, I am not giving you straw. 11Go yourselves and take yourselves straw from whatever you find, for nothing will be reduced from your work.”

12So the people spread out through the entire land of Mitzrayim to gather gleanings for straw. 13The taskmasters pressed saying, “Complete your work, the daily matter each day, as when there was straw!” 14The foreman of the Children of Yisra’el, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had appointed over them, were beaten, saying, “Why did you not complete your requirement to make bricks, as yesterday and before yesterday, even yesterday and today?”

15The foremen of the Children of Yisra’el came and cried to Pharaoh, saying, “Why do you do this to your servants? 16Straw is not given to your servants, yet they tell us, ‘Make bricks!’ Behold, your servants are being beaten, and it is a sin for your people.”

17He said, “You are lazy, lazy! Therefore you say, ‘Let us go and bring offerings to HaShem.’ 18Now go to work. Straw will not be given to you, but you must provide the quota of bricks!”

19The foremen of the Children of Yisra’el saw them in distress when they said, “Do not reduce your bricks, the daily matter each day.”

20They encountered Moshe and Aharon standing opposite them, as they left Pharaoh’s presence. 21They said o them, “May HaShem look upon you and judge, for you have made our very scent abhorrent in the eyes of Pharaoh and he eyes of his servants, to place a sword in their hands to murder us!”

22Moshe returned to HaShem and said, My L-rd, why have You done evil to the people, why have You sent me? 23From the time I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name he did evil to this people, but You did not rescue Your people.”

Chapter 6
1HaShem said to Moshe, “Now you will see what I shall do to Pharaoh, for through a strong hand will he send them out, and with a strong hand will he drive them from his land.”

Haftarah for Sh’mot
According to the Ashkenazic customs
Yeshiyahu 27:6—28:13; 29:22-23
6Days are coming when Yaakov will take root, Yisra’el will bud and blossom and fill the face of the earth like fruit. 7Has He struck those who struck him, or has He slain him as He slew those who slew him? 8According to its measure of sin, He contended against her farmland, stripping it with His strong wind on the day of the east wind. 9Therefore, through this shall Yaakov’s iniquity be atoned for, and this shall be the fruit of his sin’s removal; when he make all the altar stones like ground chalkstones, and asheirah-trees and sun-idols shall rise up no more. 10For the fortified city will be lonely, depopulated and forlom like the wilderness; there a calf will graze and there it will lie down and consume the branches. 11When its branch withers it will be broken, women will come and set it aflame for it was not a discerning nation—therefore its Maker will not show it mercy, and its Creator will not show it graciousness.
12It will be on that day that HaShem shall thresh from the surging river to the Brook of Mitzrayim, and you will be gathered up one by one, O Children of Yisra’el. 13And it will be on that day that a great shofar will be blown, and those who are lost in the land of Assyria and those cast away in the land of Mitzrayim will come, and they shall prostrate themselves to HaShem on the holy mountain in Yerusalim.
Chapter 28
1Woe! A crown of arrogance is on Ephraim’s drunkards and a withering blossom is the glory of his splendor upon the head, which is like a valley of oil, of those who are battered because of wine. 2Behold! my L-rd’s strong and powerful wind—like a stream of hail, a destructive tempest; mighty flooding waters—will place the crown on the ground with strength. 3Feet will trample the crown of arrogance of Ephraim’s drunkards. 4And the withering blossom that is the glory of his splendor upon the head, which is like a valley of oil, will be like a fig that is ripe before summer; as soon as an observer sees it, while it is yet in his hand, he will swallow it.
5On that day, HaShem, Master of Legions, will be the crown of glory and diadem of splendor for the renewal of his people; 6and a spirit of judgment for him who sits in judgment, and strength for those who return from war to the gate. 7They, too, have erred through wine and staggered through aged wine; Kohen and prophet erred through aged wine, were corrupted by wine, and staggered through aged wine, erred in vision, perverted justice. 8For all tables are full of vomit and fifth, with o clean place. 9To whom shall one teach knowledge, who can be made to understand a message? Those weaned from mother’s milk, removed from breast!
10For commandments by commandment and commandment by commandment, measuring line by measuring line and measuring by measuring line, a bit here and a bit there. 11For as if with unintelligible speech and with a foreign tongue does one speak to the nations. 12For He told them: “This is the contentment, give rest to the weary—and this brings satisfaction!” But they desired not to listen. 13And the word of HaShem became to them like the commandment by commandment and commandment by commandment, measuring line by measuring line and measuring line by measuring line, a bit here and a bit there, so that they would go and stumble backward and be broken, be tripped up and caught.
Chapter 29
22Therefore, so said HaShem, Who redeemed Avraham to the House of Yaakov, “Do not shame Yaakov now, and let not his face turn pale. 23For when he sees his children, My handiwork, in the midst, they sanctify My Name; and the sanctify the Holy One of Yaakov and render strength to the G-d of Yisra’el!”

According to Sephardic customs:
Yirmiyah 1:1—2:3

1The words of Yirmiyah, son of Hilkiah, of the Kohanim who were in Anathoth, in the land of Benyamin; 2to whom the word of HaShem came in the days of Yosiah son of Amon, king of Yehudah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3And so it did in the days of Y’ho’kim (Jehoiakim) son of Yosiah, king of Yehudah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Yosiah, king of Yehudah, until Yerusalim was exiled in the fifth month.

4The word of HaShem came to me, saying, 5“Before I formed you in the belly I knew you, and before you left the womb I sanctified you; I have set you a prophet unto the nations.”

6But I said, “Alas, my L-rd, HaShem, I know not how to speak for I am a child.”

7HaShem said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a child,’ for regarding wherever I will send you, you shall go; and whatever I command you, you shall peak. 8Do not fear them for I am with you to rescue you—the words of HaShem.” 9And HaShem extended His hand and touched my mouth; and HaShem said to me, “Behold! I have placed My words in your mouth. 10See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to uproot and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

11The word of HaShem came to me, saying, “What do you see Yirmiyah?” and I said, “I see a staff from an almond tree.”

12HaShem said to me, “You have seen well, for I hasten to fulfill My word.”

13The word of HaShem came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” I said, “I see a bubbling pot, and is opening is from the north.”

14HaShem said to me, “From the north the evil will be released upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15For behold! I call to all the families of the kingdom of the north—the words of HaShem—and each shall come and place his throne at the entrance of Yerusalim’s gates and by its walls roundabout, and upon all the cities of Yehudah. 16I shall speak My judgment with them for all their evil, for having forsaken Me; and they made smoke rise up to false gods, and they prostrated themselves to their handiwork.

17“You shall gird your loins and stand up, and speak to them everything I shall command you; do not be frightened of them lest I cause you do be frightened of them. 18And I—behold! I have made you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and cooper walls against the entire land; against the kings of Yehudah, against its leaders, against its priest, and against the people of the land. 19They will make war against you but will be unable to defeat you, for I am with you—the words of HaShem—to rescue you.”

Chapter 2
1The word of HaShem came to me, saying, 2“Go and call unto the ears of Yerusalim, saying, ‘So said HaShem, I recall you the kindness of your youth, the love of your nuptials, that you followed Me in the Wilderness in an unsown land.’ 3Yisra’el is holy to HaShem, the first of His crop; whoever devours it will be held guilty—evil shall come upon them!—the words of HaShem.”

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