This week’s Torah portion covers Exodus 1:1 to 6:1. This parashah is called Shemot which in Hebrew means “names.” Exodus begins with a pharaoh who “knew not Joseph” coming into power. The first words out of the new pharaoh’s mouth are “Look, the Israelites have become too numerous for us. Come we must deal shrewdly with them.” The Pharaoh comes to fear the Hebrews because of their accelerated growth. Goshen no longer hosts just Jacob and his descendants. That generation has passed away. But, the Bible states laconically, the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful and “the land was filled with them.” They have grown into a nation, a foreign nation within a nation.
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