Search and the other Reform websites:





These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each coming with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. - Exodus 1:1-4

  • The new king of Egypt makes slaves of the Hebrews and orders their male children to be drowned in the Nile River. (1:1-22)
  • A Levite woman places her son, Moses, in a basket on the Nile, where he is found by the daughter of Pharaoh and raised in Pharaoh's house. (2:1-10)
  • Moses flees to Midian after killing an Egyptian. (2:11-15)
  • Moses marries the priest of Midian's daughter, Zipporah. They have a son named Gershom. (2:16-22)
  • God calls Moses from a burning bush and commissions him to free the Israelites from Egypt. (3:1-4:17)
  • Moses and Aaron request permission from Pharaoh for the Israelites to celebrate a festival in the wilderness. Pharaoh refuses and makes life even harder for the Israelites. (5:1-23)


When do we read Sh'mot?

2017 Jan 21 /23 Tevet, 5777
2018 Jan 6 /19 Tevet, 5778
2018 Dec 29 /21 Tevet, 5779


  • By Beth Kalisch

    When we open the Book of Exodus this week, and turn to Parashat Sh'mot, we find that the Israelites are suffering under the tyranny of ego. Pharaoh, a despot who believes himself to be more powerful than God – indeed, he believes that he is a god himself – has enslaved the Israelites in order to secure his own power.

    In this context, I find it particularly fitting that the leader who emerges to help the Israelites escape from Egyptian slavery is Moses, whom the Torah describes as "a very humble man, more so than any other human being on earth" (Numbers 12:3). While Pharaoh's first words in Exodus are focused on oppressing the Israelites to consolidate his own power, our introduction to Moses in this week's Torah portion highlights Moses' humility and his doubts about stepping into leadership. No one can accuse Moses of being a rival to Pharaoh, of leading the Jewish people for... Continue Reading

  • Torah for Tots

    Moses said to God, "When I come to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "Ehyeh-Asher-Eh

  • Torah for Tweens

    This week we begin the book of Exodus. In Hebrew, the name of the book and its first parashah is Sh'mot, meaning "names," referring to the names of the Israelites who come to Egypt with Jacob.

  • Torah for Teens

    E-M-I-L-Y. The five letters that my parents thought would most accurately represent my personality. The subject of songs by Simon & Garfunkel, Bowling for Soup and Keller Williams.

Sign up for the Ten Minutes of Torah Emails