Why Did Pharaoh’s Daughter Save Moses? – 5783 Shemot Aliyah by Aliyah

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There is a commandment given to Israel that once every 7 years, during the Festival of Sukkot, they should assemble ALL the people to hear the Torah read to them. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12). Chazal (a Hebrew acronym that means, “our sages of blessed memory”) instituted a continuous cycle of reading the Torah. They defined weekly sections so that Jews would be reading and hearing Torah every single week and complete the 5 Books of Moses in a set time. The teachers I learned under taught me to follow the yearly Torah cycle and I discovered that Chabad divides their Torah study into daily aliyot. When the Torah portion is read in its entirety on Shabbat in the synagogue, there are seven sections, seven aliyot. The Chabad tradition is to study one aliyah each day, starting Sunday and going through to Shabbat. One who does this can get a double dose of the same Torah Portion each week.

Additionally, the Ashkenazic and Sepharidc, that is Eastern European and Spanish or Iberian Peninsula communities sometime differ on how they divide the Torah Portions.

This week’s Torah Portion is Shemot: Exodus 1:1-6:1. The focus of this “Aliyah by Aliyah” will be the second aliyah.

Aliyah 2 – Exodus 1:18-2:10

Exodus 1:18 The king of Egypt summoned the midwives and demanded of them, “Why have you done this and let the boys live?”

EXO 1:18

How depraved is it that Pharaoh ordered midwives, women whose job it is to help mother and child come through the birth process healthy and whole, to betray that trust and murder the male children?

Exodus 1:19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “It’s because the Hebrew women aren’t like the Egyptian women — they go into labor and give birth before the midwife arrives.”

EXO 1:19

This seems like a poor answer. Why didn’t Pharaoh tell them to do the vile act after they arrived late?

Exodus 1:20 Therefore G-d prospered the midwives, and the people continued to multiply and grow very powerful.

EXO 1:20

I like that these women are blessed for deceiving a murderous tyrant!

Exodus 1:21 Indeed, because the midwives feared G-d, he made them founders of families.

EXO 1:21

This verse clarifies that the midwives lied to Pharaoh.

Exodus 1:22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every boy that is born, throw in the river; but let all the girls live.”

EXO 1:22

I felt sympathy for the Egyptians being afflicted by plagues, but it would not surprise me that the reason all Egypt suffered is because the common people participated in Pharaoh’s infanticide.

Exodus 2:1 A man from the family of Levi took a woman also descended from Levi as his wife.

EXO 2:1

We later learn that these two are Amram and Yocheved. Why withhold their names now? Is it significant that they both come from Levi.

Exodus 2:2 When she conceived and had a son, upon seeing what a fine child he was, she hid him for three months.

EXO 2:2

What does “a fine child” mean? What would she have done if he was not so great?

Exodus 2:3 When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket, coated it with clay and tar, put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the riverbank.

EXO 2:3

Did Yocheved count on whoever found her baby not guessing him a Hebrew?

Exodus 2:4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

EXO 2:4

How fast and far did the basket move that youg Miriam could track it?

Exodus 2:5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe in the river while her maids-in-attendance walked along the riverside. Spotting the basket among the reeds, she sent her slave-girl to get it.

EXO 2:5

Did Yocheved arrange for Pharaoh’s daughter to find her baby?

Exodus 2:6 She opened it and looked inside, and there in front of her was a crying baby boy! Moved with pity, she said, “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children.”

EXO 2:6

And yes, sure enough, Pharaoh’s daughter figured out he was Hebrew

Exodus 2:7 At this point, his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Would you like me to go and find you one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

EXO 2:7

Was Miriam out of place here? Pharaoh’s daughter seems to have no problem with a slave girl being so close to where she was bathing

Exodus 2:8 Pharaoh’s daughter answered, “Yes, go.” So the girl went and called the baby’s own mother.

EXO 2:8

Pharaoh’s daughter had no milk to give the baby so she had to find a wetnurse for him.

Exodus 2:9 Pharaoh’s daughter told her, “Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will pay you for doing it.” So the woman took the child and nursed it.

EXO 2:9

What a blessing that Yocheved was hired to nurse her own son!

Exodus 2:10 Then, when the child had grown some, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter; and she began to raise him as her son. She called him Moshe [pull out], explaining, “Because I pulled him out of the water.”

EXO 2:10

How long did Moses stay with Yocheved?

Closing Questions

Before I go, I want to answer questions raised at the beginning of this session. These are my opinions, based on my time studying under various teachers and while I try to set aside any commentaries while examining each aliyah, I will allow myself to bring some back in for this section. I will disclose where I am getting these ideas where relevant.

1. Why did Pharaoh believe the Hebrew Midwives?

2. Did Yocheved plan Moses’ salvation?

3. Why did Pharaoh’s daughter save Moses?

That concludes my journey through Shemot for the year 5783.

I hope these words have been a blessing to you.

May our Heavenly Father give you peace and joy.

This is Matthew and I am Walking In Liberty.

Published by MJ Muñoz

Husband. Father. Believer. Writing a children's books series inspired by tokusatsu. Weekly Toku Analysis - https://mjmunoz.com/category/analyzer/

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