Published Date: January 05, 2018
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vaera Exodus 6:2 – 9:35, God reveals Himself to Moses. Employing the “four expressions of redemption,” He promises to take out the Children of Israel from Egypt, deliver them from their enslavement, redeem them, and acquire them as His own chosen people at Mount Sinai; He will then bring them to the land He promised to the Patriarchs as their eternal heritage.
Moses and Aaron repeatedly come before Pharaoh to demand in the name of God, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me in the wilderness.” Pharaoh repeatedly refuses. Aaron’s staff turns into a snake and swallows the magic sticks of the Egyptian sorcerers. God then sends a series of plagues upon the Egyptians.
In this week’s Haftara Prophets reading Ezekiel 28:25-29:21, begins with a mention of the in-gathering of the exiles, echoing God’s promise mentioned in the Torah portion: “I will take you out of the suffering of Egypt.” The prophet then goes on to discuss the decimation of Pharaoh and Egypt, reminiscent of the primary theme of the Torah portion—the devastation God wrought upon Egypt.
Ezekiel begins with a description of what will occur during the in-gathering of the exiles. “When I gather in the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they have been scattered, and I have been sanctified through them in the eyes of the nations, then shall they dwell on their land that I gave to My servant, to Jacob. And they shall dwell upon it securely…”