Time Period 5780 (2020).

Week of 15 Tevet (January 15) — Shabbat 21 Tevet (January 21)

Sh’mot (Exodus) 1:1 — 6:1

Haftarat: Yeshiyahu (Isaiah) 27:6—28:13; 29:22,23

According to the Sephardic custom: Yirmiyah (Jeremiah) 1:1—2:3

We begin the book of Exodus in which Moses is chosen to lead the children of Israel out from their servitude in Egypt. But first Moses has this question for G-d: Why? What plan have you for Israel? To what end will their freedom from bondage serve?

The fear quota: the fear of heaven precludes all other fears. The Hebrew midwives feared G-d and were rewarded.

” ..the children of Israel sighed from the labor, and they cried out, and their cry ascended to G-d… “ (Exodus 2:23) For so long the children of Israel felt so distant from G-d that they didn’t even lift up their voices and cry. But when they did, G-d heard them and delivered them.

Pharaoh employed sundry stratagems to uproot and destroy the children of Israel, chillingly reminiscent of recent and contemporary programs to annihilate Israel. Yet, despite it all, Israel abides. But why did G-d put Israel in Egypt? What was the Egyptian exile all about?


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