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Va-eira

Va-eira

I (God) Appeared [to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob]
Exodus
6:2−9:35

God spoke to Moses and said to him, "I am the Eternal." - Exodus 6:2

Summary: 
  • Despite God's message that they will be redeemed from slavery, the Israelites' spirits remain crushed. God instructs Moses and Aaron to deliver the Israelites from the land of Egypt. (6:2-13)
  • The genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and their descendants is recorded. (6:14-25)
  • Moses and Aaron perform a miracle with a snake and relate to Pharaoh God's message to let the Israelites leave Egypt. (7:8-13)
  • The first seven plagues occur. God hardens Pharaoh's heart, and Pharaoh rescinds each offer to let the Israelites go. (7:14-9:35)

When do we read Va-eira?

2017 Jan 28 /1 Shevat, 5777
2018 Jan 13 /26 Tevet, 5778

RECENT COMMENTARY

  • By Beth Kalisch

    How well did our spiritual ancestors actually know God? At the beginning of our Torah portion, Va-eira, God seems to suggest the relationship wasn't quite as intimate as we would have thought.

    "God spoke to Moses and said to him: "I am the Eternal [YHVH]. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, but I did not make Myself known to them by My name YHVH" (Exodus 6:2-3).

    The patriarchs had known God by one name, but apparently, not by the name through which God will be known to Moses, to the Israelites in the later books of the Bible, or to Jews today. It's a surprising statement. The patriarchs, after all, are understood by Jewish tradition to have been particularly intimate with God. In the Amidah prayer, we invoke their names when we address God - God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob - precisely because of the strength of their relationships... Continue Reading

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