Parshat Shemot

9 years ago Leighest 0

By Yasmine Shahar

In this weeks’ parsha we begin the book of Shemot (the second book of the Torah). At the beginning of the Torah portion the children of Israel are multiplying and Paroah has decided to trick the Jews into slavery. At first, he would help and pay the Jews who were helping expand Egypt, but very soon it turned into Slavery. A slavery that is supposed to last 400 years (SPOILER – this does not go as planned).


Paroah finds out that a baby boy will be the savior of the Jewish people, so he orders his Jewish midwives to kill all baby boy’s the second they are born; to tell the mother that the child died in her womb. But, Shifra and Puah (Yocheved and Miriam) would not do this and when Paroah asked why the baby boys were living, they answered by saying that the Jewish woman were like animals and did not need help giving birth. They said that the women gave birth before they made it to the woman’s house.


Paroah did not believe this one bit so he told his guard to kill all Jewish baby boys by throwing them into the Nile River. (These boys are actually saved and raised by an angel, only to be released when they are grown up to help fight for the Jewish people).


Now, Yocheved and Amram – leaders of the Jewish people – decide to get a divorce so no more Jewish boys should be killed. Allthe other Jews follow in their lead and little Miriam steps in and accuses her parents of being worse than Paroah. Paroah only decreed to kill the boys, but her parents were condemning the little girls’ as well, so her parents and the rest of the Jewish people got remarried.

Yocheved then becomes pregnant with Moshe. She gave birth to him three months early, giving her a bit of time to raise him. When he was born, everyone knew he was holy because he radiated light. But after three months, Yocheved had to hide her child better because the guard knew when she was supposed to give birth, as well as all the other Jewish women in Egypt. Yocheved made a wicker basket and covered it with tar.

She set off her little, sleeping child into the Nile with tears in her eyes. Miriam followed her brother down the Nile, making sure no animals ate him, and that he didn’t get stuck anywhere. She wanted to find out where her little brother was going to end up.

Batya, the daughter of Paroah, is in the Nile taking a bath; some say she is converting to Judaism. Anyway, she is in the Nile and hears the baby and sees it stuck in some reeds. Now, either her arm extended to get the baby or she asked one of her maidservants to get the boy, but either way she got the baby. She raised him in the palace, where Paroah came to love the boy, after causing him to have a lisp.

Moshe, one day goes out of the palace and sees all the Jewish people in slavery and gets very angry. He goes over to one of the slave-masters who was beating a man, and kills the man by saying Hashem’s 72 letter name. Moshe then flees in fear of being killed for killing the man. Moshe escapes to Yisro’s house where he married Yisro’s daughter Tziporah.


Near the end of this parsha Moshe is instructed by the burning bush to save the Jewish people. Moshe does not think he is worthy enough and doubts his abilities, mostly because of his lisp. Moshe is told that his brother may speak for him, but he will be the hero.


As a parsha recipe, an easy idea came to mind for the burning bush:

*Make a fire cupcakes*

Make red velvet cupcakes and add some yellow and/or orange frosting.

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 1/2 cups sugar

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

• 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

• 1 cup buttermilk (or parve substitute), room temperature

• 2 large eggs, room temperature

• 2 tablespoons red food coloring

• 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 2 tablespoons of red food coloring

• ½ cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.images-4