Inspiration Through Torah in 5776: Shemot

The_Childhood_of_MosesThis week we begin the book of Shemot, otherwise known as Exodus. The children of Israel have been living in Egypt for a long time now, and they have begun to be oppressed by a pharaoh who knew not Joseph. Their cries reach the ears of Hashem and a savior is born, Moshe. You can read about it here: Shemot – Exodus 1:1 – 6:1

You may decide to read the whole portion in one sitting or you might decide to do the FULL KRIYAH which breaks up the parsha so that you can pace yourself and concentrate on a smaller section each day.

This week, the readings for the Torah portion for each day of the week will be as follows:

1: 1:1-17 (17 p’sukim)

2: 1:18-2:10 (15 p’sukim)

3: 2:11-25 (15 p’sukim)

4: 3:1-15 (15 p’sukim)

5: 3:16-4:17 (24 p’sukim)

6: 4:18-31 (14 p’sukim)

7: 5:1-6:1 (24 p’sukim)

The reading for the haftarah, if you decide to read it in addition to the Torah portion, is Isaiah 27:6 – 28:13; 29:22 – 29:23.

Continue to journal this week, writing down your thoughts, themes, and Bible verses that come to mind for the individual days, and/or week. If you’d like to focus on personal character development with a larger community, see “Mussar” below the Torah study materials.

Torah Study Materials

Reading materials

Torah Portion Study Guides from Tony Robinson

The Creation Gospel Torah Portions: Shemot by Dr. Hollisa Alewine

Audio/Visual

The Parsha Experiment from the AlephBeta team on this week’s parsha.

Torah teachings (from the Torah cycle 5772) by L. Grant Luton

Mussar (Personal Character Development)

This week, we will be focusing on the middah (virtue) of selicha which can be translated as forgiveness. Forgiveness is easier for some than others. For those who find it easy, this might not be much of a challenge this week, but to those who find it hard to forgive, you’ll really need to stretch your empathetic muscles this week. Empathy is a necessary component for forgiveness. If we cannot try to put ourselves in another’s shoes, we will not be able to easily forgive others.

I see forgiveness as an aspect of loving our neighbor. Yeshua said we should love our neighbor as ourself. With that in mind let’s write some practices down to help us with forgiving others:

At the top of a 4×6 card write, Selicha (Forgiveness). Underneath that, list the suggested practices:

  • Ask yourself: if I did or said what this person did or said to me, would I want forgiveness freely given to me?
  • When someone asks forgiveness, be quick to say you forgive them. This may feel fake at first, but sometimes we have to fake it till we awake that part of ourselves.
  • Practice mentally letting the grievance go every time it comes to mind. Say, “I already forgave this person.”

**Special note: Forgiveness does not mean that trust has been restored to the relationship and that you have to act like everything is normal, however, civility should be restored. You may want to revisit our previous middot on Loving-kindness and Mercy to help with this week’s middah.

Put the card in a prominent place, so you might be able to refer to it often throughout the day.

For further study of this topic, you may want to check out the following:

First Fruits of Zion has written a very good on this important virtue entitled The Principle of Forgiveness.

Rabbi Weinstein talks about Forgiveness.

Blessings and Shalom,

S~