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Va'eyra

Questions for Preparation and Self Study
Shiur #1: Preparing for Redemption
Shiur #2: Brit Bein Ha'Btarim or Brit Milah?
Shiur #3: Haftarat Parshat Va'eyra - Yechezkel 28:25-29:21
Shiur #4: Sefer Shmot - Introduction
Shiur #5: Sefer Shmot - Let My People Go: A Hoax or a Mission?

Preparing for Redemption
Is "geulat Mitzraim" a 'one way street'? In other words, has the '400-year hour glass' of Brit Bein Ha'Btarim run out, thus necessitating Bnei Yisrael's unconditional redemption, or are Bnei Yisrael required to do something to deserve their redemption? Even though the opening lines of Parshat Va'eyra seem to imply that God's promise to redeem Bnei Yisrael is indeed unconditional, this week's shiur examines these psukim a bit more carefully and will arrive at a very different conclusion! Online:
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Brit Bein Ha'Btarim or Brit Milah?
Often, we assume the word "brit" [covenant] is simply a general term used to describe everything that God had promised to the Avot. In the following shiur, we will trace the word "brit" in Parshat Va'eyra back to its roots in Sefer Breishit and show how it relates, in a very specific way, to the events of Yetziat Mitzrayim. Online:
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Haftarat Parshat Va'eyra - Yechezkel 28:25-29:21
In this week's Haftara, Yechezkel foresees the forthcoming destruction of Egypt, i.e. its defeat at the hands of Bavel, in punishment for its behavior towards Am Yisrael during the time period of the destruction of the First Bet Ha'Mikdash. We begin with a quick overview of the Sefer to understand the setting of this perek within Sefer Yechezkel; afterward, we will discuss the details of the Haftara itself. Online:
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Sefer Shmot - Introduction
What is Sefer Shmot? Before we talk about what "shmot" means, let's first explain what the word "sefer" implies. In our study of Chumash [the five 'books'], we work under the basic assumption that each "sefer" [book] carries a unique theme. Therefore, as we study each sefer we attempt to identify that theme. Then, we consider that theme in our study of each individual chapter or unit. In our study of Sefer Breishit, we employed this approach to uncover its primary theme of "bechira." Now, in our study of Sefer Shmot, we employ a similar approach to uncover its own theme, as well as its connection to that of Sefer Breishit. So what binds Sefer Shmot together? As we will show, this is not an easy question to answer. Online:
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Let My People Go: A Hoax or a Mission?
Is 'Let My People Go' just a hoax? As preposterous as this might sound, Rashbam claims that it's "pshat"! He explains that each time Moshe commands Pharaoh to 'let My people go,' he requests permission merely to allow Bnei Yisrael a three-day journey to worship their God in the desert. Yet never do we find Moshe telling Pharaoh the 'whole truth,' that he in fact intends to lead Bnei Yisrael out of slavery to the Promised Land. Is Moshe 'telling a lie'?! In this week's shiur, we uncover the basis for this daring interpretation by Rashbam, while arriving ourselves at a much different conclusion. Online:
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