The Parsha Discussion: Shemot — Be Somebody!

Posted by Alex Israel on January 4, 2018
Topics: The Parsha Discussion, Shemot, Shemot (Exodus)

Sometime later, Moses grew up, he went out to his kinsmen and witnessed their labors. He saw an Egyptian man beating a Hebrew man, one of his kinsmen. He turned this way and that and saw no man. He struck the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. (Shemot/Ex 2:10-11)

Moses who has grown up in the Egyptian palace has quite a dramatic “coming out” as a Hebrew. Here, he goes out to his kinsmen and witnesses their brutal oppression and lashes out, killing an Egyptian taskmaster.

Think about this scene:

  • What caused Moses to take such drastic action?
  • Was Moses’ violence an instinctive, spontaneous, emotive act?

It would seem that Moses’ act is thoughtful and premeditated; after all, before he strikes the Egyptian, we read: “He turned this way and that and saw no man.”

What is meant by the phrase, “and saw no man”?

Click here to read more from Rabbi Alex Israel in this week’s Parsha Discussion: Shemot — Be Somebody!

Please note that if you are printing The Parsha Discussion on US paper, please select the option “fit to print”. 

About Alex Israel

Alex teaches Bible at Pardes and is the Director of the Community Education Program and the Summer Program. Alex was born and raised in London. He holds degrees from London School of Economics, the Institute of Education London and Bar-Ilan University. Alex studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion under Rav Aharon Lichtenstein and Rav Yehudah Amital, and gained Rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate. Click here to read more.

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