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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Shemot

There are 11 parshiyot in Sefer Shemot

Parashat Shemot - פרשת שמות - מאקאם ראשט או ביאת
Parashat Vaera - פרשת וארא - מאקאם חוסיני או ראשט

121 verses, with Haftara: Yehezqeel 28:25-29:21
Contains 0 Misvot: 0 Misvot Aseh, and 0 Loh Taaseh

The parasha opens with Hashem commanding Moshe to speak to the nation, and inform them that Hashem will be taking them out of Egypt, and bringing them to the land of Israel. However, the message fell on deaf ears, as Bnei Yisrael paid no attention to Moshe and Aharon because of the amount of labor bestowed upon them by Pharoah. Pharoah himself did not listen to the demands of Moshe, and refused to send out Bnei Yisrael. This will be a repeating theme until parasha Beshalah. Ultimately, after performing various miracles, Moshe imparts on Egypt the first of ten plagues, by turning the water of the Nile into blood. Plague after plague, Pharoah remains adamant and does not release Bnei Yisrael.
  1. Avodah Qasha
  2. Hear the Words
Parashat Bo - פרשת בא - מאקאם שיגא

105 verses, with Haftara: Yirmiyahou 46:13-28
Contains 20 Misvot: 9 Misvot Aseh, and 11 Loh Taaseh

In parashat Bo, the divine lesson continues, and Pharoah , along with Egyptians, endure the remaining plagues. Arbeh, locusts, ate through the entire Egyptian crop. The next plague, Hoshech or darkness, shrouded the Egyptians in pitch darkness for a number of days. According to the midrash, the darkness also had thickness to it, and so the Egyptians could not even move during this time. After the darkness followed the harshest plague, the death of every Egyptian first born. Bnei Yisrael was given their first missvah as a nation in this parasha, the missvah of sanctifying the Rosh Hodesh. In addition, we read about the qorban Pesah, and all the details of bringing such a sacrifice. The parasha ends with the sanctification of all first-borns of Israel, man and animal to Hashem, having surviving the plague on the Egyptians.
  1. Hashem hardens the Heart of Pharaoh
  2. Roots - Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
Parashat Beshalah - פרשת בשלח - מאקאם עגם

116 verses, with Haftara: Shofetim 4:4-5:31
Contains 1 Misvot: 0 Misvot Aseh, and 1 Loh Taaseh

In the end, it was Pharaoh himself who sent Bnei Yisrael out or Egypt, after enduring ten most-difficult plagues. However, Pharoah did not remain resolute in his desire to free Beni Yisrael and rallied his nation to chase after the ex-slaves. As Bnei Yisrael approached Yam Souf with the Egyptians bearing down on them, one of the greatest miracles took place. Yam Souf split in various ways, annihilating the Egyptians, yet allowing Bnei Yisrael to escape scratch-free. The Shabbat is called Shabbat Shirah, because of Shirat Hayam that is found in the parasha. This is the song-praise that Moshe and Bnei Yisrael sang during this amazing divine miracle. Hashem promises Bnei Yisrael to protect them from any of the diseases that saw befall the Egpyatians, because Hashem is the Healer of our nation. This parasha also contains the beginning of Bnei Yisrael’s experience with the Mann, ready-made food that fell from the sky. The parasha ends with the first attack Bnei Yisrael received as a nation, and attack by Amaleq.
  1. True Miracle of Yam Souf
  2. The Manna on Tu Beshvat - Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
  3. Zeh Eli Veanvehou - Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
Parashat Yitro - פרשת יתרו - מאקאם חוסיני

72 verses, with Haftara: Yeshayahou 6:1-7 etc
Contains 17 Misvot: 3 Misvot Aseh, and 14 Loh Taaseh

Parashat Yitro is most known for the receiving of the Torah by Bnei Yisrael. The Ten Commandments, written in the Torah, in addition to all the oral laws, were given to Moshe at Har Sinai, by Hashem. The parasha begins with Moshe meeting with Yitro, and accepting advice from him on how to help delegate his responsibilities governing the nation. But overshadowing all else, was the event that took place on Har Sinai, the event that forged the Jewish nation into a nation of God.
  1. Derech Eres
  2. And Moshe Went Out to Greet Yitro - Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
Parashat Mishpatim - פרשת משפטים - מאקאם צבא

118 verses, with Haftara: Yirmiyahou 34:8-22
Contains 24 Misvot: 16 Misvot Aseh, and 8 Loh Taaseh

Parashat Mishpatim provides more information about what transpired on Har Sinai during Matan Torah, and provides a basic outline of what Hashem told Moshe to transcribe as the Torah. It contains many various laws regarding Hebrew slaves, male and female, and other interactions between individuals in society. Many of the verses in the parasha fall in the category of lawful interaction between fellow Jews, giving guidelines to how a Jewish Bet Din is to operate. There are pages upon pages of Gemara, the Oral Torah, that explain these condensed verses, and how there are volumes of actual laws learned by the limited 118 verse in the parasha.
  1. Tamim Tehiyeh
  2. Widows & Orphans - Contributed by: R. Ezra E. Miztahi
  3. The Pierced Ear - Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
Parashat Teroumah - פרשת תרומה - מאקאם חוסיני

96 verses, with Haftara: Kings I: 5:26-6:13
Contains 3 Misvot: 2 Misvot Aseh, and 1 Loh Taaseh

The parasha begins with the description of the communal Teroumah that was given to the Kohanim in order to use for the daily sacrifices and other expenses of the Mishkan. The parasha then goes into details describing the artifacts and utensils in the Mishkan. We learn what they were made from, with precise measurements of their sizes. In this parasha we read of the holy ark, the shulhan, the menorah, the altar and the actual physical Mishkan tent.
  1. Avneh Shoham - Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
  2. Being a Jew at Work - Contributed by: R. Ezra E. Miztahi
Parashat Tissaveh - פרשת תצוה - מאקאם שיגא

101 verses, with Haftara: Yehezqeel 43:10-27
Contains 7 Misvot: 4 Misvot Aseh, and 3 Loh Taaseh

The parasha begins with the creation of Bigdeh Khounah, or the clothing of the priests. Regular Kohanim used to wear four basic garments, while the Kohen Gadol or High Priest used to wear eight garments. The Torah expands its description of the Hoshen, which was the breastplate that the Kohen Hagadol wore. The Hoshen contained a precious stone representing each tribe of Bnei Yisrael. The parasha then describes the ceremony that Moshe performed into order to sanctify Aharon and his children to be Kohanim holy and ready to work in the Mishkan. The parasha ends with the creation of the Altar of the Qetoret.
  1. Mordechai the Yehudi - Contributed by: David Alhadeff
  2. Al-Pi Hadrash - Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
  3. Binyamin's Stone - Contributed by: R. Ezra E. Miztahi
Parashat Ki Tisa - פרשת כי תשא - מאקאם חגאז

139 verses, with Haftara: Kings I: 1-39
Contains 9 Misvot: 4 Misvot Aseh, and 5 Loh Taaseh

The parasha begins with a census of Bnei Yisrael that was conducted through the collection of sheqalim. Each individual had to give the same amount, a half sheqel, regardless of their economic stature. We then read of the artisans who were responsible for actually creating the fine utensils of the Mishkan. We then read about the importance of Shabbat. It is through this juxtaposition that our Rabbis learn all the melachot of Shabbat that are rooted in the various work that was done for the Mishkan. For example, when learning hilchot Shabbat, oftentimes one must go back to the Mishkan to understand the true sense of the melacha.
This parasha is also know for Het HaEgel, or the sin of the golden calf, which led to the prayer of Moshe, where he invoked using the thirteen midot of Hashem. Ultimately, Moshe was answered and the nation was saved
  1. Kofer Nafsho - Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
  2. Moshe's Hand(s) - Contributed by: R. Ezra E. Miztahi
Parashat Vayaqhel - פרשת ויקהל - מאקאם חוסיני

122 verses, with Haftara: Kings I 7:13-26
Contains 1 Misvot: 0 Misvot Aseh, and 1 Loh Taaseh

Parashat Vayaqhel is usually read together with Parashat Peqoudeh. However, on Hebrew leap years, when there is an extra month, the parshiyot are read separately. The parasha begins with the commandment of observing the sanctity of Shabbat. The parasha then continues with many details of the actual construction of Mishkan. Bnei Yisrael brought countless donations to the process, culminating with the Nesiim who brought the stones for the Hoshen. In fact, the nation was so generous, that Moshe needed to announce a cessation of accepting any more donations for the Mishkan.
  1. Let the work be done
  2. Pure Sedaqah - Contributed by: R. Ezra E. Miztahi
Parashat Pequdeh - פרשת פקודי - מאקאם ראהוו או נאווה

92 verses, with Haftara: Kings I: 7:51 - 8:21
Contains 0 Misvot: 0 Misvot Aseh, and 0 Loh Taaseh

Parashat Peqoude is the last of a sequence of parashiyot describing the building of the Mishkan. We read of the final efforts of Moshe Rabeynou erecting the structure, while a complete count of materials are given, removing any doubt that anyone took from the money that was donated from the qahal. At the end of the parasha, the Mishkan is completed and Moshe blesses the nation.
  1. Passing Judgement - Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
  2. Qedoushat Hamakom - Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
  3. Vihi Noam - Contributed by: R. Ezra E. Miztahi
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