ParshaPost

This is a collection of some ideas about Parsha Shemot.

First, we begin a whole new energetic period of time called Shovavim, which is the weekly Parshas beginning with Shemot and ending with Mishpatim. This is a period of time when we, and of course the people in the Bible times, are coming to rectify something that began with Adam, who was separated from his wife in the Garden of Eden fall-out. Their separation caused scattered seed, which means scattered life energy, and the goal of this period of time is to bring the scattered energy back together.

That’s what we’re going to be doing for the next six weeks, and it parallels the stories about bringing back energy, about interconnected energy. So that’s one thing that begins in Shemot. Essentially, we’re going from the Patriarchal period into an Exile period, which is followed later by a Redemption period. The Israelites were pretty civilized, but tended to sink into slave mentality during the 210 year period of forced slavery.

One of the things that comes up during this period is that the Israelites were rapidly reproducing, and the more Pharaoh tried to oppress them, the more they reproduced. It’s an interesting phenomenon… You leave it to G-d to take care of you, and you can rely on that, no matter what the opposition tries to do to you. So, the Israelites reproduced in great numbers, which ultimately formed the nation of Israel.

G-d promised to Jacob that He would make of us a great nation, and that He will be with us and take us out of slavery also. So, the hand of G-d is operating, even in the midst of the darkness of Egypt, the lowest and most depraved of nations. G-d’s there with us and the miracles are happening, maybe on a more subtle level.

So, we reproduced a lot, and we did that in spite of Pharaoh’s efforts to the contrary, meaning he worked us and he baited us. He promised to come out into the fields with us, and pay us well and take care of us. Pharaoh was the first of the real politicians, saying one thing with his mouth while thinking and planning something else entirely. It was said of Pharaoh, “he had a soft mouth,” meaning he could be very convincing, and in fact he seduced most of the Israelites into doing his bidding, with the exception of the tribe of Levi. The Levis never became slaves, and they learned Torah instead, for the entire 210 years of the Eqyptian exile.

This is an incredible lesson because, spiritually speaking, the spiritual heirs of the tribe of Levi are the Torah students of all generations. So, when other people get seriously seduced into the traps of society (and there are so many of them) the person who sticks to his guns inside of Torah is impervious to that whole influence, as was the tribe of Levi in Eqypt.

Pharaoh induced the Israelites into slavery, and then approximately eighty years after the exile began Moses was born. They looked at him and knew there was goodness there, and there was a whole reincarnation thing going on with Moses as well. It was a reincarnation rectification of Adam. Moses was born good, something recognized through the daughter of Pharaoh, Batya, who adopted the baby Moses. She took him out of the Nile River and she raised him, and even though he was raised in the Egyptian environment, because of his inherent goodness (and Batya’s goodness) Moses kept the pure side of himself. He could see through the façade of the Egyptian royal family all along, and he eventually escaped the kingdom after an episode with an Egyptian taskmaster who was beating up an Israelite slave. Moses killed the Egyptian, so he knew he would be in trouble and that’s when he left and went to Midian, in the desert.

In Midian Moses met his future father-in-law, and he met up with G-d, and the burning bush, with Mount Sinai and with his task of saving the Jews from Pharaoh. All this occurred because Moses began to hear the wordless grunts and screams of the Israelite people. Moses said, “I heard their screams and told Pharaoh, ‘Let my people go.”

At first, Moses displayed a reticence to do that. He thought, “Who am I? Certainly not a man of words…” At this, G-d told him, essentially, “What do you mean you’re not a man of words? Who is asking you to save the Israelites?  I’m not a politician, I’m G-d.  I’m hooking up my mouth to a human being. I can put the words in your mouth.”

This is an incredible lesson, really, because G-d can do anything, to the extent that we let Him in. The basic question people ask is, “Where is G-d now?” and the answer is, “Wherever we let Him I,” which applies on many different levels. If we let G-d in to do miracles in our lives He WILL do miracles in our lives. But most people cannot believe that because they’re blinded by nature.

Moses was told, “You’re the leader. You’re the one who is going to bring them out, so you’ve got to believe in Me. You’re a stutterer.”  And he was. Moses was a stutterer because the Israelites were slaves, and people in that kind of slave mentality were not articulate people. And what happens with the people happens with Moses, their leader. He is a mirror of them and they are a mirror of him. They stuttered, he stuttered. They couldn’t talk, he couldn’t talk.

Moses said, “How am I going to talk? How am I going to be their leader?”  And G-d said, “You don’t understand. I will speak through you, for you. We’ll start off by letting Aaron do the talking for you. Your big brother, 3 years older than you is a better speaker.

So, Moses asked G-d, “What do I tell the people about who sent me? I could tell them several different names of G-d. Which one do I tell them that they will truly believe?

And G-d told Moses, “I will be who I will be.” It’s “will be” in the future tense, a Divine Name symbolizing the ability to have patience and wait, the ability to trust that things will work out, the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the ability to hope, (which happened in last week’s Parsha when Jacob was blessing Dan he said a prayer, “For your salvation I hope all day long.”) Hope is the key to Geula, to Redemption.

G-d told Moses to talk to the Israelites about hope, about how it’s a done deal and that they will bring it by hoping and by waiting for Me. And that’s ultimately what happened with the Israelites, as Pharaoh kept kicking and fighting and questioning, “Who is this G-d that Moses should hear His voice?” Since Pharaoh help himself up as a deity and knew nearly everything about spiritual matters in the world at that time he was disturbed because he didn’t know about this Divine Name, this G-d of Moses. Or, maybe he did know, but he denied it. There are commentaries from our sages from both viewpoints.

So, that’s the set-up of this week’s Parsha and the beginning of plagues next week, and the exodus from Egypt the following week, and coming through the Red Sea the following week. The state is being set this week in Parsha Shemot.