Torah Portion

Shemot

שמות

Exodus 1:1-6:1
Isaiah 27:6–28:13 & 29:22–23

The Burning Bush: Why Must Moses Remove His Shoes?

The Burning Bush: Why Must Moses Remove His Shoes?

YHWH’s first revelation to Moses at a sneh סְּנֶה, “bush,” signifies that it is not a future site of worship and foreshadows the revelation at Sinai.

Prof.
Rachel Adelman
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Pre-Biblical Aaron, Miriam, and Moses

Pre-Biblical Aaron, Miriam, and Moses

In the Torah, Aaron, Miriam, and Moses are siblings; Aaron is the biological ancestor of all priests, Moses is the redeemer of Israel from Egypt, and Miriam, their sister, leads the Israelite women in song. But what can we reconstruct about who these ancient figures may have been?

Prof.
Mark Leuchter
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Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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Questioning God’s Call: Moses Versus Gideon

Questioning God’s Call: Moses Versus Gideon

Moses and Gideon are each called upon to deliver Israel from its enemies, and each poses questions in response. And yet, a close comparison of the stories demonstrates a sharp contrast between the two characters; surprisingly, Gideon is more faithful than Moses.

Dr.
Deena Grant
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Moses and the Fugitive Hero Pattern

Moses and the Fugitive Hero Pattern

The story of Moses follows a pattern that is typical of ancient Near Eastern fugitive hero narratives. However, when Moses goes to Mount Horeb, the plot deviates from the usual “divine encounter” feature. What does this tell us about the composition of the story of Moses and the Burning Bush?

Prof.
Edward L. Greenstein
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Exodus Through Deception: Asking for a Three-Day Festival

Exodus Through Deception: Asking for a Three-Day Festival

From God’s first command to Moses, through the story of Israel’s escape, the demand for a three-day festival in the wilderness plays a prominent role in the exodus narrative. Part of this ruse was Israel’s request to “borrow” Egyptian finery for the festival. Why does God want the Israelites to use deception?

Dr. Rabbi
Zev Farber
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Exodus: The History Behind the Story

Exodus: The History Behind the Story

The Elephantine Stele and the Great Harris Papyrus both describe Pharaoh Setnakhte’s war against the Levantine usurper Irsu in 1186 B.C.E. Reading these accounts together with Manetho’s story of the war against Osarseph offers us a possible historical context for what eventually became the Bible’s story of the exodus of Israel from Egypt.

Prof.
Israel Knohl
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The Depiction of Jeroboam and Hadad as Moses-like Saviors

The Depiction of Jeroboam and Hadad as Moses-like Saviors

Set against the Pharaonic Solomon, Jeroboam frees Israel from servitude and founds the Northern Kingdom. Hadad plays a similar role on behalf of the Edomites. Why are these two “rebels” depicted as heroes?

Dr.
Tzvi Novick
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The “Egyptian” Midwives

The “Egyptian” Midwives

Who were the midwives who risked their lives to save male Hebrew babies—Israelites or Egyptians? A text discovered at the Cairo Genizah sheds new light on this exegetical conundrum.

Dr.
Moshe Lavee
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Dr.
Shana Strauch-Schick
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Did Pharaoh’s Daughter Name Moses? In Hebrew?

Did Pharaoh’s Daughter Name Moses? In Hebrew?

She named him Moses (מֹשֶׁה) explaining, “I drew him (מְשִׁיתִהוּ) out of the water” (Exod 2:10).

Dr. Rabbi
David J. Zucker
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The Death of Pharaoh's Firstborn: A One Plague Exodus

The Death of Pharaoh's Firstborn: A One Plague Exodus

After commissioning Moses at the burning bush, God commissions Moses again in Midian, and then again on his way to Egypt. In this third commission, God instructs Moses to tell Pharaoh, “Let My son go, that he may worship Me, yet you refuse to let him go. Now I will slay your firstborn son” (Exod 4:22-23). How does this narrative fit into the exodus story?

Dr. Rabbi
David Frankel
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The Birth of Moses: Between Bible and Midrash

The Birth of Moses: Between Bible and Midrash

The details of Moses birth story do not entirely cohere. By examining the midrash, and sifting through layers of the Torah text itself, we uncover a series of problems and solutions in the story which help to elucidate the way the text and its traditions evolved over time.

Prof.
Jacob L. Wright
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“All of Jacob’s Descendants Numbered Seventy-Five”: The Opening of Exodus in the Dead Sea Scrolls

“All of Jacob’s Descendants Numbered Seventy-Five”: The Opening of Exodus in the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Book of Exodus begins with an accounting of the members of Jacob's family who went with him to Egypt. Our Torah, the Masoretic Text, lists 70 people. Dead Sea Scroll manuscript 4QExb, however, records 75 people. How do we account for this and other differences between the texts?

Prof.
Marc Zvi Brettler
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The Title “Pharaoh”

The Title “Pharaoh”

The change in usage over time and what this tells us about the biblical text

Dr.
Shirly Ben-Dor Evian
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Moses, Aaron, and Miriam: Were They Siblings?

Moses, Aaron, and Miriam: Were They Siblings?

The significance—or lack thereof—of family pedigree in matters of individual excellence and righteousness.

Dr. Hacham
Isaac S. D. Sassoon
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Don’t Call Me Hebrew! The Mysterious Origins of the First Anti-Semitic Slur

Don’t Call Me Hebrew! The Mysterious Origins of the First Anti-Semitic Slur

In the Bible, the term “Hebrew” is primarily used as a derogatory racial slur. Why then do even Israelites—as well as God—employ this term?

Dr.
Yitzhaq Feder
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Who Were the Hebrews?

Who Were the Hebrews?

“Hebrew” in the Bible is often assumed to be another word for “Israelite” – but what does the biblical evidence say and where do the ANE Ḥabiru fit it?

Dr.
Albert D. Friedberg
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YHWH: The God that Is vs. the God that Becomes

YHWH: The God that Is vs. the God that Becomes

The meaning of God’s names, especially YHWH, is central to Jewish theology. Two approaches have dominated: the philosophical, focusing on God’s essence (“being”) and the kabbalistic, focusing on God’s evolving relationship with Israel (“becoming”). Some modern thinkers such as Malbim and Heschel have looked for new syntheses or formulations.

Prof.
James A. Diamond
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Shemot

שמות

Exodus 1:1-6:1

וַיִּקְרָא אֵלָיו אֱלֹהִים מִתּוֹךְ הַסְּנֶה וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּנִי׃

שמות ג:ד

God called to him out of the bush: “Moses! Moses!” He answered, “Here I am.”

Exod 3:4

Exodus

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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