Bo (Audio Portion)

“Bo” means “go,” and that’s exactly what the Israelites do! After the last three plagues of locusts, darkness and killing the first born of Egypt do their damage, Pharaoh at last relents and lets Israel go. In the stunning aftermath of these events, the Pesach meal is instituted as an eternal memorial.

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Bo

“Bo” means “go,” and that’s exactly what the Israelites do! After the last three plagues of locusts, darkness and killing the first born of Egypt do their damage, Pharaoh at last relents and lets Israel go. In the stunning aftermath of these events, the Pesach meal is instituted as an eternal memorial.

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Va’Era (Audio Portion)

Va’Era means “and I appeared,” as in Abba YHWH explaining that He appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and this thought of course follows from His introduction in Shemot that Moshe is a descendant of these people, “I am the El of your fathers…”.

After the initial “Bricks Without Straw” setback which happened last week, Moshe is strengthened to go back to Pharaoh though neither he nor his own people seem willing to do the right thing. Now also the “warning period” is over and Abba YHWH prepares to begin the real battle. After the signs of the serpent and the leprosy are given and Pharaoh refuses to listen, Moshe turns the Nile to blood and Egypt thirsts for 7 days. Plague after plague follows, along with failed attempts on Pharaoh’s part to either muddy the issue or distract Abba YHWH from His purpose. The portion ends with the plague of hail, but worse plagues are still in their future.

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Va’Era

Va’Era means “and I appeared,” as in Abba YHWH explaining that He appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and this thought of course follows from His introduction in Shemot that Moshe is a descendant of these people, “I am the El of your fathers…”.

After the initial “Bricks Without Straw” setback which happened last week, Moshe is strengthened to go back to Pharaoh though neither he nor his own people seem willing to do the right thing. Now also the “warning period” is over and Abba YHWH prepares to begin the real battle. After the signs of the serpent and the leprosy are given and Pharaoh refuses to listen, Moshe turns the Nile to blood and Egypt thirsts for 7 days. Plague after plague follows, along with failed attempts on Pharaoh’s part to either muddy the issue or distract Abba YHWH from His purpose. The portion ends with the plague of hail, but worse plagues are still in their future.

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Shemot (Audio Portion)

Shemot means “the names,” and it is almost impossible to do justice in a few lines to such a majestic portion. We begin with the set-up of “the Pharaoh who did not know Joseph” and who therefore enslaves the Israelites (probably Ahmose I). Despite an edict to kill all Hebrew male infants, Moshe escapes and is adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter called “Bithia” by the rabbis, “Thermuthis” by Josephus or “Tarmuth” by the Talmud. Moshe is raised as a Prince of Egypt until he kills an overseer for beating a Hebrew slave. Then he flees to Midian and is given shelter by Jethro, priest of Midian, but it is in the wilderness outside of Midian that Moshe meets Abba YHWH for the first time as he climbs Mount Sinai. Abba YHWH reveals Himself and gives Moshe his true purpose—he is to return to Egypt and free the slaves. The portion though ends on a down note, with Pharaoh refusing and saying they must now make bricks without straw, so Abba YHWH warns a fearsome judgment is on the way.

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Shemot

Shemot means “the names,” and it is almost impossible to do justice in a few lines to such a majestic portion. We begin with the set-up of “the Pharaoh who did not know Joseph” and who therefore enslaves the Israelites (probably Ahmose I). Despite an edict to kill all Hebrew male infants, Moshe escapes and is adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter called “Bithia” by the rabbis, “Thermuthis” by Josephus or “Tarmuth” by the Talmud. Moshe is raised as a Prince of Egypt until he kills an overseer for beating a Hebrew slave. Then he flees to Midian and is given shelter by Jethro, priest of Midian, but it is in the wilderness outside of Midian that Moshe meets Abba YHWH for the first time as he climbs Mount Sinai. Abba YHWH reveals Himself and gives Moshe his true purpose—he is to return to Egypt and free the slaves. The portion though ends on a down note, with Pharaoh refusing and saying they must now make bricks without straw, so Abba YHWH warns a fearsome judgment is on the way.

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Vayechi (Audio Portion)

Vayechi means “and he lived,” referring to the 17 years Ya’akov would spend in Egypt before dying. The portion begins with Jacob making final arrangements to be buried in Canaan once he dies. Ironically the portion ends with Joseph making those same arrangements, but deferring final relocation until the Exodus. It seems that Joseph’s final vision then was his foretelling the time of Moshe. In between these events, Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh are introduced to Jacob and in a very ironic twist Jacob does intentionally the same thing his father Isaac was deceived into doing by blessing the younger son Ephraim ahead of elder Manasseh. After this, all tribes are given prophecies and blessings and the family of 70 souls make final settlement in Egypt.

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Vayechi

Vayechi means “and he lived,” referring to the 17 years Ya’akov would spend in Egypt before dying. The portion begins with Jacob making final arrangements to be buried in Canaan once he dies. Ironically the portion ends with Joseph making those same arrangements, but deferring final relocation until the Exodus. It seems that Joseph’s final vision then was his foretelling the time of Moshe. In between these events, Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh are introduced to Jacob and in a very ironic twist Jacob does intentionally the same thing his father Isaac was deceived into doing by blessing the younger son Ephraim ahead of elder Manasseh. After this, all tribes are given prophecies and blessings and the family of 70 souls make final settlement in Egypt.

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Vayigash (Audio Portion)

Vayigash means “and he approached,” referring to Judah approaching Joseph and pleading with him to return Benjamin. After this plea Joseph reveals his true identity and begins reconciling with his brothers. The portion ends with Joseph sending his brothers to fetch Jacob into Egypt and setting up the main foundation pieces for what will become the Exodus. Keep Reeding

Vayigash

Vayigash means “and he approached,” referring to Judah approaching Joseph and pleading with him to return Benjamin. After this plea Joseph reveals his true identity and begins reconciling with his brothers. The portion ends with Joseph sending his brothers to fetch Jacob into Egypt and setting up the main foundation pieces for what will become the Exodus.

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Mikkets (Audio Portion)

Mikkets means “at the end” as in at the end of two years since Joseph interpreted the dreams of the baker and wine taster, and about 3 and half years for the total time of Joseph’s confinement. When Pharaoh has bad dreams and can’t get any of his seers to interpret them, the wine taster remembers Joseph and tells Pharaoh he can help. After Joseph correctly interprets the dream, he is quickly elevated to the second in command, given an Egyptian priestess for wife and moves forward with his plan for storing grain during the years of plenty. The rest of the portion details the intricate series of comical pranks Joseph plays on his brothers—but to those brothers it is a matter of life and death which, obviously, is the whole point. It’s time for Joseph to hold their lives in HIS hands.

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Mikkets

Mikkets means “at the end” as in at the end of two years since Joseph interpreted the dreams of the baker and wine taster, and about 3 and half years for the total time of Joseph’s confinement. When Pharaoh has bad dreams and can’t get any of his seers to interpret them, the wine taster remembers Joseph and tells Pharaoh he can help. After Joseph correctly interprets the dream, he is quickly elevated to the second in command, given an Egyptian priestess for wife and moves forward with his plan for storing grain during the years of plenty. The rest of the portion details the intricate series of comical pranks Joseph plays on his brothers—but to those brothers it is a matter of life and death which, obviously, is the whole point. It’s time for Joseph to hold their lives in HIS hands.

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