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Shemot in a Nutshell

Shemot in a Nutshell

Exodus 1:1–6:1


The children of Israel multiply in Egypt. Threatened by their growing numbers, Pharaoh enslaves them and orders the Hebrew midwives, Shifrah and Puah, to kill all male babies at birth. When they do not comply, he commands his people to cast the Hebrew babies into the Nile.

A child is born to Yocheved, the daughter of Levi, and her husband, Amram, and placed in a basket on the river, while the baby’s sister, Miriam, stands watch from afar. Pharaoh’s daughter discovers the boy, raises him as her son, and names him Moses.

As a young man, Moses leaves the palace and discovers the hardship of his brethren. He sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, and kills the Egyptian. The next day he sees two Jews fighting; when he admonishes them, they reveal his deed of the previous day, and Moses is forced to flee to Midian. There he rescues Jethro’s daughters, marries one of them (Tzipporah), and becomes a shepherd of his father-in-law’s flocks.

G‑d appears to Moses in a burning bush at the foot of Mount Sinai, and instructs him to go to Pharaoh and demand: “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me.” Moses’ brother, Aaron, is appointed to serve as his spokesman. In Egypt, Moses and Aaron assemble the elders of Israel to tell them that the time of their redemption has come. The people believe; but Pharaoh refuses to let them go, and even intensifies the suffering of Israel.

Moses returns to G‑d to protest: “Why have You done evil to this people?” G‑d promises that the redemption is close at hand.

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malka WD9 5TQ June 9, 2016

moshes birth Moshe as a baby had to be hidden because pharaoh at that time wanted to kill all the Jewish boys, as they start the Jewish family and the Jewish culture. moshes mum ,Yocheved, didn't want him to die as she knew he was a special baby and she knew one day he will lead the Jews out of Egypt. she put Moshe in a basket and watched him float away, at the end of the river was pharaohs palace, Pharaohs daughter saw Moshe, she took the basket opened it and saw Moshe, she wanted to keep him, so she took him to the two midwives and groomed it. Reply

Michael Faiaz Vernon Connecticut December 29, 2015

Why were the Jews enslaved? Sometimes we enslave ourselves and not realize it. Moses was the bind that held the Hebrews together. G-d makes wise choices. Reply

William Ganz Miami Beach, FL December 22, 2010

Why were the Jews enslaved? This did not occur until they left Goshen to become part of Egypt. A message that we must keep our identity.
Being enslaved or living it out every Passover may make us more sensitive and able to take up our role as a light to the nations.
G-d's plans are never fully understood, but painful slavery may be important for reasons we can not comprehend. Reply

Yankel Palm Springs January 6, 2018
in response to William Ganz:

Really? I never knew this. I always was taught it was the Egyptian regime change. Is there a link to this tract? Reply

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