Weekly Reading Insights:

Overview of the Weekly Reading

Torah: Exodus 6:2-9:35; Maftir: Numbers 28:9-15
Haftorah: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21 (mentions the ultimate punishment of Pharoh)



"Said G-d (E-lo-heem) to Moshe…I am G-D (Y-H-V--H)." (6:2)
The new insight is not the revelation of the four-letter name, for this name was already known to Moshe. What He wished to convey was the unity of the two Names (as we affirm in the Shma Yisroel prayer). Indeed this is the goal of the divine plan, that the transcendent four-letter name should illuminate and be revealed within "Elokim", the name of G-d as He manifests within Creation.
(from Sefer Maimorim 5672 - translated from Sichat HaShavuah #472)

"I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as G-d Alm-ghty, but by My name Y-H-V-H I did not make Myself known to them." (6:3)
This verse comes in answer to Moses' question: Why have You dealt ill with these people? G-d answered him, "The whole purpose of the Jews' exile in Egypt is to prepare them for the giving of the Torah which will follow their liberation. The extra spiritual light which will illuminate the world when I reveal Myself in the attribute of Y-H-V-H, a light which even the Patriarchs did not merit to see, is the reason that the Jewish people must suffer through the afflictions of exile."
(Torah Ohr)

"I appeared (va'eira) to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." (6:3)
The word va'eira means both "And I appeared" and "And I will appear." This shows us that the G-dly revelation to the Patriarchs can be found, now, within every Jew. For, within the soul of every Jew there is Abraham (who epitomized love of G-d), Isaac (awe of G-d) and Jacob (mercy and compassion). When these traits are revealed, it is similar to G-d's revelation to the Patriarchs.
(Ohr HaTorah - from L'Chaim #804)

"I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians." (6:6)
The Jewish people possess an extra measure of patience, a special capacity for enduring the trials and tribulations of exile. And yet, when the exact time for redemption comes, they find it impossible to continue. This in itself is a sign that the redemption is imminent.
(Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Charlop)

" I will take you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians." (6:6)
It is far easier to physically take the Jews out of exile than it is to remove the inner exile from within every Jew.
(Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon of Shpitovka)

"You shall know that I am the L-rd your G-d, Who brings you out." (6:7)
The Holy One, Blessed Be He, promised the Jewish people that not only would He take them out of Egypt, but also that they would know it was He Who had redeemed them; the redemption itself would serve to deepen their understanding and faith in G-d. Indeed, this is the purpose of all redemptions and salvations: that through them we come to recognize the true Redeemer and Savior.
(Sefat Emet)

"I have given it to you as an inheritance." (6:8)
The expression, 'inheritance,' is found twice in the Torah: here, concerning the Land of Israel; and concerning Torah, in the verse, "Moshe commanded us Torah, an inheritance for the community of Yaakov." There is a connection between these two inheritances. The inheritance of the Land of Israel is such that it can be maintained only through following the commands of the Torah, as it is written (Ps. 105), "He gave them the lands of the nations...that they should keep his statutes."
(from Yalkut HaChadash - translated from Sichat HaShavuah #262)

"I have a speech defect." (6:12)
Moshe's state of ecstatic union with the Divine was such that he was unable to contract his vision into words.
(from the Magid of Mezritch - translated from Sichat HaShavuah #317)

"The L-rd ... gave them a charge to the Children of Israel." (6:13)
Despite the fact that the Jewish people hadn't listened "because of their anguished spirit and the cruel slavery," G-d commanded Moses and Aaron to keep on talking. For the word of G-d always makes an impression and has an effect: if not immediately, then sometime later. Holy words are never wasted, and are always ultimately heard.
(Sefat Emet - from L'Chaim #654)

"It was Aharon and Moshe...it was Moshe and Aharon." (6:26-27)
Moshe exemplified the study of Torah, while Aharon, the eventual High Priest, represents the service of Prayer. The Torah equates them by sometimes placing one first, and sometimes the other. At times a person engages in Torah-study and mitzvah deeds in order to pray properly afterwards, with love of G-d. Other times a person will arouse his love for G-d through prayer in order that afterwards he be able to engage in Torah-study and mitzvah deeds properly.
(from Lekutei Sichos - translated from Sichat HaShavuah #317)

"You shall speak all that I command you." (7:2)
Here, G-d tells Moses that he is the one who must speak to Pharaoh. The humiliation of Pharaoh had to come about at the hand of Moses specifically, for Pharaoh was the epitome of haughtiness and pride, and it was fitting that he be humbled by one who was the embodiment of modesty and humility - "And the man, Moses was the most humble of any man on the face of the earth."
(Torat Chaim)

"I will harden the heart of Pharaoh." (7:3)
If Pharaoh deserved to be punished, why didn't G-d merely punish him without taking away his free will? Rather, Pharaoh's punishment was meted out by G-d measure for measure. Pharaoh rebelled against G-d, saying, "Who is G-d that I should obey His voice?" Anyone who insolently refuses to recognize G-d, and thinks he can do as he pleases, deserves that G-d show him he is not his own boss.
(Lubavitcher Rebbe)

"Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron eighty-three years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh." (7:7)
Why does the Torah need to tell us the ages of Moses and Aaron? To refute the common misconception that only young people can carry the banner of liberation and redemption. Older people, too, can be "revolutionaries," if G-d determines it is necessary and the proper time.
(Shaarei Yerushalayim -from L'Chaim #654)

"Aharon threw his staff in front of Pharoah and his servants, and it became a snake." (7:10)
Pharoah claimed that the Jews had sinned and therefore didn't deserve to be taken out of Egypt. Moshe and Aharon responded that a person's environment plays a very important role in his development. Even a holy staff can turn to a vicious snake in the company of Pharoah. On the other hand, a "snake" in the company of Moshe and Aharon can transform itself into a holy staff.
(HaRav Meir Shapiro M'Lublin)



In the Book of Exodus we read that G-d told Moses, "I will also fulfill the promise I made with them, to give them the land of Israel." To whom did G-d make a promise to give the Land of Israel? To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. How will G-d fulfill His promise to our forefathers? In the days of Mashiach our forefathers, together with all other Jews will be resurrected, and will behold the realization of G-d's promise to them.
(Yalkut Shemoni - from L'Chaim #804)

Just as G-d struck the Egyptians with 10 plagues, so too He will strike the enemies of the Jewish people at the time of the Redemption:
BLOOD - "I will put wonders in the heavens and earth: blood, fire and pillars of smoke. The sun will become dark and the moon will become blood before the coming of G-d's great, fearful day." (Yoel 3:3-4)
FROGS - In Egypt, the plague of frogs was most troublesome because of the loud noises they made. At the time of Redemption, there will also be a great noise: "A tumultuous Voice from the city (Jerusalem); a Voice from the Holy Temple," (Isaiah 66:6) to strike fear into the hearts of the enemies of the Jewish people.
LICE, WILD ANIMALS - In Egypt, the ground was struck and it turned into lice. Afterwards, the land was filled with different sorts of wild animals.
In the days of Moshiach, the Babylonian enemies of the Jewish people will have their land struck, made desolate, and inhabited by different species of birds; "ka'as, kipod, yanshuf and oreiv" (Isaiah 34:9, 11. Rashi).
PESTILENCE, HAIL - Just as Egypt was struck by pestilence and hail, so too, G-d will judge the nations, "with pestilence and blood, torrential rain and shining hailstones" (Ezekiel 38:22. Rashi).
BOILS - Just as the Egyptians were struck with boils, so too, "All the nations who encamp against Jerusalem, their flesh and limbs will rot, their eyes will rot in their sockets, their tongues will rot in their mouths" (Zecharia 14:12,
Rashi).[The last three plagues are described in Pashat Bo.]
From: Tanchuma Bo 4
[As adapted from Discover Moshiach in the Weekly Torah Portion, as published on mashiach.org]

"I will take you out... and I will release you... and I will redeem you... and I will take you... and I will bring you into the land." (Ex. 6:6-8)
When the Torah describes how the Jews will be freed from Egypt, He uses four words: "V'hotzeisi" (and I will take out), "V'hitzalti" (and I will save), "V'goalti" (and I will redeem), "V'lokachti" (and I will take). Each of these four words also describes one of the four redemptions from the four exiles which our people have suffered. The last exile, which we are in now, is nearly over, and then all four expressions will be fulfilled. There are also four terms of edemption listed by the prophet Ezekiel (34:13), all applying to the future redemption: "I will take them out (from among the nations) and collect them (from the lands) and bring them (to their land) and feed them (on the mountains of Israel)."
[Adapted from Discover Moshiach in the Weekly Torah Portion (by Rabbi Berel Bell and the students of Bais Chaya Mushka Seminary of Montreal), as published on www.mashiach.org]

"Aharon's staff then swallowed their staffs." (7:12)
G-d sent Moshe and Aharon to Pharaoh to urge him to send the Jews out
of Egypt. G-d told them that should Pharaoh ask for a sign that it is
G-d who is sending them, Moshe should tell Aharon to hit his staff on
the ground and it will become a snake.
Moshe and Aharon did as they were commanded, and when Aharon's staff
became a snake, Pharaoh ordered that his own magicians do the same.
They did so, but then the unexpected happened: Aharon's staff
swallowed up all the snakes of the magicians without getting any
fatter and without any trace of any other change!
This is a symbol for us of the final redemption, when those who
fought against the Jews will be swallowed up without any trace.
This prophecy is written in Isaiah (41:12): "You will search for
those who fight you and you will not find them; those who make war
with you will become like nothing."
[Adapted from Discover Moshiach in the Weekly Torah Portion (by Rabbi Berel Bell and the students of Bais Chaya Mushka Seminary of Montreal), as published on www.mashiach.org]

"But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs." (Ex. 7:12)
From Aaron's staff we learn about the resurrection of the dead that will take place in Messianic times: If a lifeless staff, a dry piece of wood, can be transformed into a living entity, how much more so can a human being, consisting of a physical body and soul, be restored to life!
(Zohar - Reprinted with permission from L'Chaim Magazine (www.lchaim.org).]

"I will put a distinction between My people and your people." (Ex. 8:19)
The Hebrew word "pedut" ("distinction") appears three times in our Scripture. Twice it is spelled pei, dalet, vav, tav, but in this instance the vav is omitted. This signifies that the redemption in Egypt was less than perfect; the full and ultimate Redemption will only take place when Moshiach comes.
(Baal Haturim)

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