Parshat Shemot (Exodus chpters 1-4)


Tamar Pelleg

Since then, a lot of water has flowed in the river of my life. Today, apart from my everyday writing in my “Morning  Diary”, I write regularly on topics related to the Hebrew Bible’s portion of the week, from a psycho-spiritual perspective and on topics  related to relationships that I post on  Facebook, blog, digital story collections and recently I am engaged in writing a  book and my  dream begins to come true.


The secret was revealed.

He could no longer pretend to be an Egyptian prince.

 He could no longer hide the murder of the Egyptian guard whom he covered in the sand.

Like a barrage of stones, the questions struck him:

   Who am I really? What is my identity? What should I do with myself? Where will I go? What is my purpose in the world?

   The dissonance between his sense of belonging to the family of Pharaoh the ruler and the knowledge that he actually belonged to the Hebrew people, the slaves, tore him from within.

   He fled for his life. Not only because of Pharaoh who wanted to kill him but from all the lies and pretensions.

   On his escape route, his good fortune introduced him to Jethro Priest of Midian and his family. And before he could find answers to his troubling questions, he found himself husband to Ziporah, Jethro’s daughter, father to a newborn and a shepherd of Jethro, the priest of Midian’s flock.

He was given a new identity that gave him a kind of moratorium:

   When he grazed the flocks out in the wilderness, he was free from worries. The new roles he now held in his life as a husband and father dulled the poignant questions and left them in a dark corner.

   His lungs expanded gratefully as he breathed in the desert air. All those years closed in the glorious palace kept him away from the simple things around him and now he devoted himself to the blue sky spread out above, to the caressing sun, to the tickling of the soft sand between his fingers, and to the sound of the sound of the flocks and bells.

 but the simple and blessed routine failed to conceal a vague feeling that sprouted within him.

   A voice whispering from the dark corner: Is that all that you are meant to be?

   Rushing to a sheep that was about to give birth, he did not wait to find an answer. So exciting to bring new life into the world.

    The herd continued to graze in its lazy way and he veered off the main road onto an unfamiliar path.

    Then the miracle happened. In Hebrew, miracle is the word ‘nes’-  In reverse letters, ‘nes’ is ‘sneh’, the burning bush.

    He felt like a fire was burning inside his heart. A great light of clarity shone on him; a clear voice rose from it:

     Moshe, do you want to get answers to all the questions that bothered you?   Remove your shoes!  

Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.

ׁשַל־נְעָלֶ֙יךָ֙ מֵעַ֣ל רַגְלֶ֔יךָ כִּ֣י הַמָּק֗וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר אַתָּה֙ עוֹמֵ֣ד עָלָ֔יו אַדְמַת־קֹ֖דֶשׁ הֽוּא׃

Take off the “lockers”   (נ.ע.ל.) from your “habits”  (ר.ג.ל.)

  In other words: start thinking outside the box!

   Your purpose is to give the Hebrews – your people – what you are experiencing now: Freedom.

     To set them free from the narrow place that oppresses them, to give them freedom from Pharaoh’s bondage. Allow them too to find their destiny in life.

   A scary thought.

    Who, me? Why me? It’s too big a role for me!

   Yes — you and only you! You who did not know what slavery was, who grew up as a prince in Pharaoh’s house, who tasted the taste of freedom, who began to awaken to your truth, you have the power to do so!

     But … how can I do it by myself?

    No buts! You do not have to do everything alone. Your brother Aaron will help you.

     I’m scared! Afraid of the confrontation with Pharaoh who was like a father figure to me, who was a model for my role in the palace, and to whom I now turn my back.

    Will you let fear dominate you? Will you turn your back on your truth, your destiny? He who hears the voice of his truth and turns his back on it – does not experience freedom but will be a slave to his own fears. Just like Pharaoh.

    He who is faithful to his truth – God is his partner. Together they create new worlds.

    The process will be complex, but just as you helped give birth to the little lamb, so you will give birth to the Hebrews, from a confined place to a wide-open place. This is your true vocation!


Credit for the picture: Susan Aaron

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