The weekly Torah portion of Shemos (Exodus 1:1-6:1)

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Why did the midwives deserve such a great reward, they only did what they had to

At the begining of parashat Shemot, Par'o ordered to the midwives to kill male newborns of Benei Yisrael: Exodus 1, 17: וַתִּירֶ֤אןָ הַֽמְיַלְּדֹת֙ אֶת-הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים וְלֹ֣א עָשׂ֔וּ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר ...
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The life of Jochebed

What, if anything, does the rabbinical literature say happened to Jochebed, the mother of Moses, after she put Moses in the basket on the river?
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What's “פון” doing in the targum to Ex. 3:20?

In Onkelus, "פון" indicates the subjunctive mood. For example, in Vayetze 31:27, Lavan seems to be telling Yaakov, "Why did you conceal yourself to flee? And you robbed me! And you didn't tell me; and ...
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Yocheved nursing Moshe in mitzrayim

We know that Moshe was given to Yocheved to nurse in Mitzrayim. My question is, why did Pharoah's daughter keep him as hers rather than letting Yocheved raise him completely as a "Jew"?!
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Why a burning bush?

When G-d wanted to speak to Moshe for the first time, He grabbed Moshe's attention by showing him a burning bush that wasn't being consumed by the fire. But why this? From all the possible things to ...
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What sort of “food” did the midwives provide for the children (Rashi on Shemos 1 (17))?

Rashi on Shemos 1 (17) comments on the expression “... but they enabled the boys to live” and says “They provided water and food for them.” If these were new-borns what sort of food could they have ...
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Did Moshe need to do all 3 signs for the Jewish people and if so why?

In Shemos 4:1 Moshe expresses his concern to God that the people will not believe that he was commanded by God to take them out. God then gives him 3 signs (4:2-9) stating that if they won't believe [...
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Where was Moshe? How did he become so great?

Just curious over here. Is there any known sources for where Moshe Rabbeinu was in the break between him leaving Bais Pharaoh to the incident of the Sneh (the burning bush)? I heard that there are ...
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76 views

Why did HaShem have to introduce Himself to the Israelites in Mitzrayim?

In Shemot 3:6 HaShem introduces Himself to Moshe and says: 'I am Elohei Avicha, Elohei Avraham, Elohei Yitzchak and Elohei Ya'akov'. In verse 13, Moshe asks HaShem which name he should tell the people ...
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Exodus Rabbah 1:5 These are the names of the Children of Israel

Parashat Shemot starts with a list of the names of all who came to Egypt, the Midrash Rabba 1:5 rereads all these names, with a new set of meanings reflecting the upcoming exodus. Searching for the ...
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Daughter of Pharao doing Teshuvah?

Are there any commentaries which shows that the daughter of Pharao refuted idolatry, made a act of repentance or anything like that? I wonder what it was that made her save Moshe, that she had ...
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What happened to the burning bush?

Out of idle curiosity, when I was writing something else, I started wondering what happened to the burning bush after Moses "left the scene" -- I wondered if it just kept on burning or something. Half ...
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Tehillim Teshuvah

Within Shemot 1:1 out of the last letters of each of the words we can get - after rearranging the letters - the words: Tehillim Teshuvah. Could someone explain me the connection between Tehillim and ...
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Idolatry in Mitzrayim?

Within Ezekiel 20 there are a few verses that talk about idolatry and refer to Mitzrayim. That made me wonder if the Israelites in Egypt forgot the G-d of their parents or exchanged Him for the gods ...
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107 views

How to define the Malach YHVH

The Malach YHVH is mentioned many times, but what is or who is this being exactly? How should one define: Malach YHVH? It's the Malach YHVH that is talking to Hagar, but after the whole event she ...
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Are there any sources that translate the term “a land flowing with milk and honey”, as being literal rather than a metaphor?

The first usage that I can find that refers to Israel as a "land flowing with milk and honey" in Exodus 3:8: וָאֵרֵ֞ד לְהַצִּיל֣וֹ ׀ מִיַּ֣ד מִצְרַ֗יִם וּֽלְהַעֲלֹתוֹ֮ מִן־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַהִוא֒ אֶל־...
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Why does God have Moshe use a name the Israelites won't know?

When God sends Moshe back to Egypt from Midyan, he instructs Moshe to refer to God as "Hashem." (Shemot 3:15) When Moshe returns from the task, God reveals that the Israelites (or at least their ...
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Why did the Bnei Yisroel deviate from God's command to ask for gold and silver?

Hashem told The Bnei Yisroel to ask the Egyptians for "silver and gold" in Shemos, Chapter 11, Verse 2: Please, speak into the ears of the people, and let them borrow, each man from his friend and ...
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Why are 2 Midianites mentioned in the Torah named “bird”?

There are two Midianites mentioned in the Torah that are both named "bird": Tziporah - Moses' wife Tzipor - Balak's father This does not seem coincidental to me. Was it common for Midianites at ...
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Did Pharaoh attempt to kill Moses during the plagues

Given that Moses was a wanted fugitive (Ex.2:15) and that he was destroying the land of egypt with the plagues, and a general nuisance to Pharaoh were there attempts to kill him by Pharaoh. (by for ...
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Moshe killing the Egyptian

The Torah says “And it was in those days that Moshe grew up and went out to his brothers and saw their burdens. He saw an Egyptian man strike a Hebrew man, (one) of his brethren. (Moshe) turned this ...
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Linking Vatimalei ha'aretz

In the beginning of Sefer Shemot (1:7), the text describes the population of Beni Yisrael as growing at such a rate that "vatimalei ha'aretz otam" the land was full of them. This construction appears ...
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Moshe and the Egyptian - Justifiable Homicide?

Shemot Chapter 2 has the incident of Moshe slaying the Egyptian who was beating the Hebrew slave. He "looks this way and that", kills him, and buries him in the sand. After he realizes "the matter ...
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Explanation of the midrash of the Donkey of moshe

In Shmot 4:20, Rashi explains that the donkey which Moshe took on the way to Egypt was the same donkey which Avraham used for the akeda (Binding of Isaac), and this is the donkey of the Mashiach. ...
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What name of G-d was Moshe supposed to relay to B'nai Yisra'el?

View Shmot 3:13-15. In verse 13, Moshe asks G-d what name of G-d should he tell B'nai Yisra'el. In verse 14, G-d first answers I AM THAT I AM, and then says just I AM. Fine, I am aware of Rashi's ...
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How would worshiping G-d at Mt. Sinai be proof that G-d sent Moshe as a messenger?

In Shmot 3:12 G-d says that the proof that G-d sent Moses as a messenger to B'nai Yisra'el is that when he takes them out of Egypt, they will worship G-d at the very mountain that G-d is speaking to ...
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Why is Moshe's family unnamed at first?

In the second chapter of Shemos, we're introduced to a man who marries a woman, and they have a son who has a sister. After ten verses of narrative about this family, we're finally told the son's ...
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Why didn't the Israelites fight against being enslaved?

In Parashat Shemot, the pasuk says וַיֹּאמֶר, אֶל-עַמּוֹ: הִנֵּה, עַם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל--רַב וְעָצוּם, מִמֶּנּוּ Pharaoh was, for whatever reason, worried that the Israelites had become more ...
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How did Moshe know he was Jewish?

Shemot 2:11 says how Moshe went out to see the suffering of his people: וַיְהִ֣י ׀ בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֗ם וַיִּגְדַּ֤ל מֹשֶׁה֙ וַיֵּצֵ֣א אֶל־אֶחָ֔יו וַיַּ֖רְא בְּסִבְלֹתָ֑ם וַיַּרְא֙ אִ֣ישׁ מִצְרִ֔י ...
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How did 70 souls give birth to millions in a few generations? [duplicate]

For two hundred and ten years, Bnei Yisrael were in Egypt. 70 souls entered, among them only 2 unmarried women (Dina and Serach) and also Yocheved who is said to have been born right at that moment. ...
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Was Moshe decieving Pharoh, or was the original “Exodus” from Egypt meant to be temporary?

Inspired/based on this question, I was surprised to see that the following hasn't yet been asked here: Moshe is told by God (Shemos 3:18) to request of Pharoh that the Jews leave for three days, and ...
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Three days through/in the wilderness: to where?

In shemot 3:18 Adonai commands Moshe to tell the King of Egypt: 'nelacha-na derech shloshet yamim bamidbar venizbecha laHaShem Eloheinu'-'let us go a journey of three days into the wilderness, to ...
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Shemot 3:12 v.s. covenant with Avraham

In different commentaries about the verse of Shemot 3:12, I've read that the entire purpose of leaving Egypt was in order that Bnei Yisrael would come to Har Sinai and accept the Torah (to serve Him ...
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Shmos 2:15 – Moshe fled from Paroh and dwelt in Midian. Why Midian?

Shmos 2:15 – Moshe fled from Paroh and dwelt in Midian. Why did he choose Midian? The only slightly helpful references I saw said a) (attributed to a Medrash but I do not see it) that he was ...
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How long did the showdown with Paro last?

Recently my torah-study group was discussing the events of Parshat Sh'mot, and someone claimed that people could only gather straw for bricks in the fall (I don't know if that's true) and the exodus ...
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Pharaoh or King of Egypt?

In parashat shemot, how come pharoah is sometimes called the "king of Egypt" and sometimes called "Pharaoh"?
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117 views

Why did Moshe ask why the bush wouldn't burn when it did?

Sh'mos 3:2–3: ‏…וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה הַסְּנֶה בֹּעֵר בָּאֵשׁ וְהַסְּנֶה אֵינֶנּוּ אֻכָּל.‏ וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אָסֻרָה נָּא וְאֶרְאֶה אֶת הַמַּרְאֶה הַגָּדֹל הַזֶּה מַדּוּעַ לֹא ...
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What was Moses' staff made of?

What was Moses' staff made of? Copper? What's relationship between Moses' staff being turned into a snake in Parsha Sh'mot and the incident in Parsha Chuckat if there is any?
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Why does Rashi cite the Midrash of Pharaoh's daughter stretching out her arm?

There's a famous Midrash cited by Rashi (Shemoth 2:5), that says Pharaoh's daughter stretched out her arm and that it extended beyond its natural length to pull in the basket containing the baby from ...
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why did God choose Moshe

why did God choose Moshe? the torah says very little about him, other than that he was extremely humble. However, I heard from a tape by Rabbi Kardozo that his humility stemmed from his being in such ...
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315 views

What is so special about wearing Egyptian clothing

Why was moses dressed up as a mitsri when the daughters of yisro found him and according to some midrash he had left Egypt 50 or more years previously. Being Jewish it is unlikely he spoke like a ...
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Why are the Egyptians more concerned with the Exodus of the Jews than their own defeat?

In the Haggada we read the following verse (Shemos 1:10 from Chabad.org): הָבָה נִתְחַכְּמָה לוֹ פֶּן יִרְבֶּה וְהָיָה כִּי תִקְרֶאנָה מִלְחָמָה וְנוֹסַף גַּם הוּא עַל שׂנְאֵינוּ וְנִלְחַם בָּנוּ ...
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What happened to the second אהי-ה?

Before going to redeem the Jews Moshe asks God what his name is. God says to Moshe in the pasuk (shemos 3:14) that he should be referred to as אֶהְיֶ-ה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶ-ה. To which Moshe responds (see ...
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Dagesh for adornment

On Sh'mos 2:3 and 15:17, Minchas Shay notes that הַצְּפִינוֹ and מִקְּדָשׁ have a dagesh in their respective second letters "for adornment (tif'eres)". Is this aural or visual adornment? How/Why is ...
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Who is speaking in Ex. 3:17?

Sh'mos 3:15–18 reads: ‏15 וַיֹּאמֶר עוֹד אֱלֹהִים אֶל מֹשֶׁה…. 16 לֵךְ וְאָסַפְתָּ אֶת זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם יהוה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם נִרְאָה אֵלַי… לֵאמֹר פָּקֹד ...
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Why did the Egyptian “astrologers” tell Pharaoh that a savior would be born?

רש"י suggests that Pharaoh's astrologers told him that they had a vision that a savior would be born on a certain day (שמות א:כב & שמות א:טז). Assuming the “astrologers” had no real power of ...
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Why does Moshe tell Hashem that he is 'heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue' - twice?

Shemot 4:10-15 is a dialogue between Hashem and Moshe where Moshe tells Hashem that he is 'heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue'. In pssukim 14-15 Hashem tells Moshe that he will tell Aharon what to ...
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210 views

Why did Pharaoh try to kill Moshe?

Moshe Rabbeinu was raised in Pharaoh's house. Yet when Dasan and Aviram claimed that Moshe killed an Egyptian taskmaster, Pharaoh tried to kill him (Shemot 2:13-15). Why would an all powerful tyrant ...
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Haman's sons in three p'sukim

Me (quoting Ester 9:7–10): 7 And Parshandasa and Dalfon and Aspasa 8 and Porasa and Adalya and Aridasa 9 and Parmashta and Arisay and Ariday and Vayzasa, 10 the ...
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Moshe's speech impediment(s)

In Sh'mos 4:10, after Hashem instructs him to speak to the Jews, Moshe describes himself to Hashem as not an "אִישׁ דְּבָרִים", literally "man of words", and as "כְבַד פֶּה", literally "heavy of mouth"...