December 28, 2018

     "A new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph....".

     These are among the first lines of the Book of Sh'mot, Exodus, and thus begins the trajectory of Jewish peoplehood. This new Pharoah hates and fears the Israelites, who are enslaved in the land where they once had status, influence, and respect (sound familiar? a historic theme).                    Pharoah decrees that all Israelite male babies must be thrown into the Nile. And so we come to the story of Moses.
     Placed in a basket and sent down the river by his mother, desperate to save him, with big sister Miriam watching from a distance, baby Moses is rescued by Pharoah's daughter and raised as her own. (Yet Moses's mother, serving as his wet nurse, is presumably able to influence and educate him.)
     As a young man, Moses kills a harsh Egyptian taskmaster whom he sees beating a Hebrew slave and is forced to flee...

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