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The Hebrew name of this next book of Torah has little to do with Israel's leaving Egypt, rather, it is Shmot, which means names.  It opens with a register of those who went down to Egypt with Jacob.  In the opening few verses we learn that the number was only seventy and that in Egypt, Joseph died as did all of his brothers and that entire generation.  In verse 6 begins the Megid,  the story that is recited every Passover by Jewish people around the world.

Ex 1:8-14 tells us, "Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.  He said to his people, "Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.  "Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land."  So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.  But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.  The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them."

I do hope that you have had the awesome experience of celebrating the Passover with friends and family.  If not, then start to investigate where there will be one held near you and plan to be there.  It will open your eyes to so much truth and will certainly change the way you take the L-rd's Table.

Chapter 2 tells of the birth of Moses and the story of his being hidden away until he was too old to hid any longer and the remainder of the parasha deals with the events recounted in the Passover Megid.  Suffice to say that if you want to really understand this week's Torah portion and the next several, you must experience Passover for yourself.

Next week, I will go into a bit more detail as we look at the plagues more closely than you have probably done before.


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