Moses

The Invisible Leader

Parashat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)

Parashat Tetzaveh is unique from all of the other Torah portions from the beginning of Exodus to the end of Numbers in an unusual way. How so? The name of Moses is curiously missing from the text. In every other portion we hear his name mentioned at least once, if not multiple times. This week, however, the Torah is silent when it comes to actually naming Moses. Why is this the case?

Who Am I?

There's something about leaving one year and entering another. The secular year is changing from 2018 to 2019 and people around the world are making New Year's resolutions to try and be a better person. Who are you and what is your purpose? Are you able to fulfill your purpose? When God called Moses he didn't believe he was the one for the task. He asked the LORD, "Who am I?" But then he became one of the greatest leaders in history. What changed to allow Moses to live up to the potential that God saw in him?

Parashat Korach - Numbers 16:1-18:32

Between The Dead And The Living

Parashat Va'era - Exodus 6:2-9:35

The Sacred Name Revealed

If we are paying close attention, we will realize that this week’s portion begins with a rather odd statement that begs for clarification. At first, the opening words of our portion seem contradictory to the basic storyline of what we have learned about God’s relationship with both the patriarchs and with Moses up to this point. Let’s take a careful look at the opening words of our parashah:

Parashat Devarim - Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22

Moses and the Rabbis

Our parashah begins the final book of the Torah, the book of Deuteronomy. Sometimes the book of Deuteronomy is also known as Mishneh Torah, or the Repetition of Torah, since it contains a recap of many of the major themes included the previous books of the Torah. It also begins by recounting the various events that have taken place among the Children of Israel since the Exodus. A curious statement is made, however, that we must explore:

Parashat Beshalach - Exodus 13:17-17:16

Don’t Pray. Just obey.

Aren’t we supposed to pray about everything? Shouldn’t we pray before doing anything? After all, Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Why wouldn’t we pray about everything we do? This week’s parashah offers an interesting insight into a very good reason why prayer might not always be the best thing for our situation.

Va'era - Holding on to the Promises

Our parashah begins with God telling Moshe, “Ani Hashem” (6:2). Isn’t this obvious? Hasn’t He already revealed this to Moshe at the burning bush? Why does He tell Moshe this obvious fact here, at the beginning of our portion? Why does He repeat this phrase 16 more times throughout the book of Shemot? Why does He emphasize this fact by using this phrase 49 times in the book of Vayikra, 5 times in the book of Bamidbar, and 2 more times in the book of Devarim? Does Moshe not remember who this Deity is? Does he forget easily and need constant reminding?

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