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Torah Talk for Parashat Shemot

January 3, 2018 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Bnei Yisrael become slaves to Pharaoh; Hashem instructs Moshe to liberate the people; Moshe and Aharon approach Pharaoh, who refuses their request for liberation.

We can all list the cast of characters involved in the Exodus: Moshe, Aharon, Miriam, Amram (Moshe’s father), Yocheved (Moshe’s mother), Yitro (Moshe’s father-in-law), Tziporah (Moshe’s wife), Yehoshua (Moshe’s right-hand man), Shifra and Puah (the midwives in chapter 1), and, of course, Paro (Pharaoh).

The only character on this list whose name we do not actually know is Paro. Despite what many people think, “Paro” is not the name of the king. It is the Egyptian appellation for “king,” much like “Czar” in Russia or “Caesar” in Rome. There is much speculation about the Pharaohs in the Torah and who they were historically. Read more >