Parshat Shemot – January 9, 2021 – 25 Tevet 5781

Parshat Shemot

  • Stone Chumash  p. 292 (Number of verses: 124)
  • Haftorah: Isaiah Ch. 27, Stone Chumash p.1147  “Haba-im Yashreish Yaakov”

Important Shabbat Times

  • Candle lighting:        4:49p
  • Sunrise:               7:14:08a
  • Latest Shma:            9:06a
  • Earliest Mincha:     12:36p
  • Havdalah:                  5:49p
  • Zoom Havdalah:       6:05p

Rosh Chodesh Shvat: Thursday, January 14

  • Molad: Wednesday, 5:35 + 3 Chalakim

Thoughts on the Parsha

The second book of the Torah, the Book of Shemos, begins with the enslavement of the descendants of Yisrael. A new Pharaoh emerges in Egypt, who has no recollection of Yoseph. The Israelites are condemned to slavery and are forced to build the storehouses of Pitom and Ramses. Yet the more they are oppressed, the more they thrive!  Pharaoh condemns firstborn Israelites to death at birth. The midwives, Shifra and Puah (aka Yocheved and Miriam) resolve to ignore the new decree. Yocheved gives birth to a boy, and is forced to hide him in a waterproof cradle and places him in the Nile River. Basya, the daughter of Pharaoh, snatches the child, and raises him as her own. He names him Moshe, Egyptian for “snatched from the water.” Moshe grows to adulthood. The episode of the Egyptian beating the Israelite. The episode of Jew smiting a fellow Jew. Moshe flees to Midyan. The episode of the daughters of Yisro. The episode of the burning bush. Moshe attempts to evade being G-d’s messenger, adding that he suffers from a speech impediment. In the end he has no choice, and his brother Aharon will aid him. Moshe is almost killed en route, and his wife Tziporah understood that they had neglected to circumcise their son. She performs the operation herself, and Moshe is saved. Moshe performs his miracles before the people and they believe him. Moshe commands Pharaoh to “Let my people go.” Pharaoh tells them the people are lazy, and he increases their workload. The people complain to Moshe. G-d assures Moshe that they have nothing to fear! To be continued…  

Mitzvah of the Week

The third category of Muktza is called “Muktza machmat chesron keess”– this refers to objects which, although theoretically may be enlisted for any use, would normally only be used for one specific use, which marks it as a special or a sometimes expensive utensil. For example, a laptop might be used to keep the window sash open, but most people would never countenance such a usage. Other examples would include a Shechita knife, a typewriter, a checkbook, or merchandise meant for sale. These items may not be moved under any circumstances on Shabbat. If however, one left his laptop outside on the porch before Shabbat, and he is concerned that it may rain, he may cover it with a raincoat, to prevent it from becoming ruined.