Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
A new online course
Starting January 22nd
Register »
Contact Us

Beshalach in a Nutshell

Beshalach in a Nutshell

Exodus 13:17–17:16


Soon after allowing the children of Israel to depart from Egypt, Pharaoh chases after them to force their return, and the Israelites find themselves trapped between Pharaoh’s armies and the sea. G‑d tells Moses to raise his staff over the water; the sea splits to allow the Israelites to pass through, and then closes over the pursuing Egyptians. Moses and the children of Israel sing a song of praise and gratitude to G‑d.

In the desert the people suffer thirst and hunger, and repeatedly complain to Moses and Aaron. G‑d miraculously sweetens the bitter waters of Marah, and later has Moses bring forth water from a rock by striking it with his staff. He causes manna to rain down from the heavens before dawn each morning, and quails to appear in the Israelite camp each evening.

The children of Israel are instructed to gather a double portion of manna on Friday, as none will descend on Shabbat, the divinely decreed day of rest. Some disobey and go to gather manna on the seventh day, but find nothing. Aaron preserves a small quantity of manna in a jar, as a testimony for future generations.

In Rephidim, the people are attacked by the Amalekites, who are defeated by Moses’ prayers and an army raised by Joshua.

© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
Anonymous January 31, 2016

I am a newcomer to this website, and my family goes to Moriah, a conservative shul . I was just wanting to thank everyone at Chabad that helped with this beautiful website, from the information to the graphics. Reply

Malkie Janowski for January 26, 2016

There are actually different opinions on this, as explained by Nachmanides in his commentary to Exodus 16:12. One possibility is that the quail did last all forty years, but not necessarily did everyone receive it. Those who didn't, or not in sufficient quantity, later complained that they lacked meat (Numbers 11:4) . Another view is that the quail came intermittently throughout the forty years, but not on a consistent basis.

There is a differing opinion that the quail only fell that first time, and once more in the above mentioned incident in the book of Numbers. Reply

Walter schechter charlotte nc January 22, 2016

Did quails come just once or every evening? Reply

Anonymous January 18, 2015

Hi anonymous! I like most of what you said but I think the part about G-d needed sleep is not correct. G-d is infinite and the concept of "sleep" does not apply as it is a human concept. G-d is not a human that needs sleep, and the concept of G-d sleeping doesn't even make sense. However, I like your message overall about coming together as a community :-) Reply

Anonymous 90266, USA January 11, 2014

Today's Lesson for Me For me, today's reading in the Parshah has implicitly taught me a lesson. Perhaps I am assuming or interpreting today's portion of the Parshah wrong, but I have faith that I will find the reasoning behind today's portion of the Parshah somehow and someway, someday. My interpretation of today's portion of the Parshah has instructed me on why it is important to not make anyone work for us on the Sabbath. I feel the implicit reason Adonai instructs us not to make other people work for us all on the Sabbath is not only to prevent a reinstatement of slavery, but is also to make sure that those who would work on a Sabbath won't work so that we may gather together as a community to help one another in the week ahead, therefore lightening the load for Adonai in the coming week. Just like me, Adonai needs sleep to recharge, and giving positive energy to Adonai while he is sleeping makes His working week easier, therefore increasing the capabilities that society has in helping each other. Reply

zeny calderon Phillipines January 10, 2014

Exodus 17:6 G-d tells Moses to strike the rock. Reply

Mrs. Chana Benjaminson via February 10, 2013

Source See Beshalach 17:6, Reply

Ted Birnberg Beer Sheva, Israel February 5, 2013

Beshallach in a Nutshell - advanced Please let me know where in this parsha G-d tells Moses to strike the rock. This is what we read in your Beshallach in a Nutshell.

I would like to read the "nutshells" with confidence in their accuracy. Reply

Fred Foldvary California July 16, 2017
in response to Ted Birnberg:

Hi Ted.

Fred Reply

Related Topics