This week we begin the book of Exodus

January 5, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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This week we begin the book of Exodus

This week we begin the book of Exodus and read the names of the Children of Israel who descended into Egypt, Moses’s birth through Moses leaving Egypt and encountering God at the burning bush.  

The parshah ends with Pharaoh imposing harsher work upon the Israelite slaves and God’s promise to Moses and the Israelites of redemption.

The Israelites had to complete backbreaking labor as slaves in Egypt and then when Moses arrives and demands that Pharaoh allow the people a three-day respite to worship God in the desert,  Pharaoh says that he does not know this God and the Israelites have harsher standards imposed upon them. Yet God’s promise remains: “(I will) rescue them from the hand[s] of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land, to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…” Exodus 3:8

How can one keep hope for a future of freedom when in the midst of harsh slavery?  

Throughout our slavery, we cried out to God to bring us from slavery to freedom.  We never ceased our prayers and our hopes that things could be better.  We also read of the Israelites midwives risking their own lives to help and care for women and families.  

A Rabbinic story or Midrash describes Miriam, Moses’s sister as one of these midwives.  In their own community, they defied Pharaoh’s decrees in righteous civil disobedience and in following God’s laws.  The Torah tells us: “The midwives, however, feared God; so they did not do as the king of Egypt had spoken to them, but they enabled the boys to live.” (Exodus 1:17)

We all have incredibly difficult moments in our lives. May we be like the Israelites who continued to always be in a relationship with God event through the ordeal of slavery.  Further, we must be like Miriam and the midwives who understood a deeper obligation to their people and to God.  They risked their lives so that others may live.  This holy task is shown to us by the courage of the midwives and it continues to be ours today.  By standing up for what is right in the face of oppression you can help usher in new life and possibility.

Shabbat Shalom!

Please join us on:

Friday, January 6th Shabbat Services 8 pm
Saturday, January 7th Shabbat Services 10 am

It’s the beginning of the book of Exodus! Join Rabbi Metz as we explore a new way to look at this “old tale”. 

          Please come to help make a minyan so members are able to say Kaddish

Sunday, January 7th Our next Mah Jongg Madness Gathering  2 – 4 pm

            Safran Hall

            Cost $5

            RSVP to Anita at



 January 10th Ask The Rabbi 12-1pm

       Food Court Menlo Park Mall near Panera


January 11th Bubbe’s Kitchen 7 pm    

              Safran Hall             

        On the Menu – Rice Pudding

Category : Rabbi's Journal