Monday, December 24, 2007

Enter into Exodus...Parashat Shemot

I am posting early today- this Kiddush cup with a scene by Robin Jensen. The Cup depicts baby Moses' basket floating from mother to Egyptian princess while Miriam looks on. Base has reeds and leaves.

I am posting early because we are in Orlando soaking up the rays... and I don't know when I will be able to post again. Have a great dinner of Chinese Food today!

Exodus 1:1 - 6:1

In the years following Joseph’s death, the Israelites became a sizable group within Egypt. Pharaoh, worried about a potential fifth column in the event of a war, enslaved the Children of Israel and had them build store-cities. He also ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill all newborn Israelite males, but the midwives disobeyed at the risk of their own lives. Thereupon, Pharaoh ordered all newborn sons to be drowned in the Nile.

One Israelite couple, from the tribe Levi, spares their newborn son. When they can conceal him no longer they set him afloat in the Nile in a basket, while his older sister, Miriam, watches from a distance. Pharaoh’s daughter finds the boy and adopts him as her own. She names him Moses, and at the suggestion of Miriam, who has now come forward, she engages the boy’s mother as his nursemaid.

Moses grows up in the royal palace, but he retains a compassion for the enslaved Israelites. He slays an Egyptian overseer who is beating a Hebrew. The next day he intervenes in a quarrel between two Hebrews, and one of them asks if Moses will slay him, too, as he had the Egyptian.

Moses realizes that his life is in danger and he flees to Midian where he works as a shepherd for Jethro, a Midianite priest. Moses marries Jethro’s daughter, Tziporrah, and they have two sons.

While out shepherding, Moses sees an unusual sight – a bush is covered in flames but otherwise undamaged – and he approaches it. God speaks to Moses at the bush and tells him that he will be God’s messenger to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of bondage. God reveals his personal name to Moses and equips him with the power to perform certain wondrous deeds with which he will convince both the Israelites and Egyptians of his divine mission. These serve to reassure a reluctant Moses to return to Egypt.

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