Saving, Not Hating by Yitzi Taber


In this week’s Parashah, the Torah records, “VaYakom Melech Chadash Al Mitzrayim Asheir Lo Yada Et Yoseif,” “A new king arose over Egypt who didn’t know Yoseif” (Shemot 1:8). Rashi cites the Talmudic dispute as to whether this Pasuk means that an actual new king was coronated, or that it was the same king as before, but that he had changed policies. The second opinion interprets “Asheir Lo Yada Et Yoseif” that Par’oh acted as if he didn’t know Joseph. Regardless of how this is interpreted, it seems that Bnei Yisrael face a dismal fate in Egypt.

Later on in the Parashah, Moshe observes an Egyptian striking a Jewish man, and saves him. After he flees to Midyan, Moshe saves the seven daughters of Yitro when they are drawing water for their father’s sheep and shepherds try to drive them away. He steps in and helps the daughters fill the water for their sheep and for them. (One explanation for Moshe’s tendencies to save others from harm might be because as a baby he was saved from Par’oh’s decree to kill all of the male babies.) It could be said that it was through these experiences that Moshe was shaped into the leader he was that led Bnei Yisrael out of Mitzrayim.

        One of the many decrees that Par’oh instituted on the Jews was that their baby boys must be thrown into the river, which was intended to eventually destroy the Jewish lineage and leadership. However, Par’oh didn’t realize that Moshe, the future leader of the B’nei Yisrael, will end up being rescued from his decree. Originally, Par’oh thought that his new decree would destroy the Jews; in the end, he was mistaken. What actually happened was the opposite: by creating a situation that aimed to kill off the Jewish leadership, Par’oh unwittingly set up a scenario through which one of the greatest Jewish leaders was born. Hashem caused this to happen to prove to Par’oh that the Jews will always stay strong no matter what he decrees.

 The message in the Parashah is that even when Jews think that they will be eliminated, we should always remember that Hashem will never let that happen—no matter what.

The Fork in the Road by Jacob Rosenberg

Moshe – Civil Servant by Rabbi Josh Kahn