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Torah Portion


Home > Torah Portion > Sh'Mos



Torah Portion: Sh'Mos
EXODUS 1:1 - 6:1

1. MOSES GREW UP, WENT OUT AND SAW THE SUFFERING OF HIS PEOPLE. ONE DAY, HE SAW AN EGYPTIAN BEATING ONE OF HIS FELLOW JEWS. MOSHE KILLED THE EGYPTIAN. PHARAOH HEARD ABOUT IT AND WANTED TO KILL HIM. (2:9-15)

It's a fascinating story: Moses is raised in Pharaoh's palace. An adopted son in the royal family.

He's guaranteed a life of luxury. Anything he could possibly want.

... But he's willing to risk everything. To save a fellow Jew.

He sees another Jew being beaten. And he gets involved.

... Such a strong commitment to his people.

Where did it come from?

The answer? Moses spent his early years at home. With his mother.

... And that was enough.

... Jewish parents have tremendous power.

And if we are passionately committed to Judaism. And to the Jewish People.

We can inspire our children. Pass it on to them.

... And it will stay with them. Their entire life.

Bergen Belsen. Bronia Koczicki's dedication to the education of her two sons, was viewed by some as an obsession. She taught them the weekly Torah portion. But she did more. She would often deny herself food. Bartering her meager rations to have someone teach them Jewish law and tradition.

When she managed to get some extra beets and potatoes, she saved them for Passover. And made sure she had no bread. Because: 'I learned the Jewish tradition when I was a child. Now it is my duty to teach it to my children.'

Her little boy turned to her: 'Mommy. Where are we going to be next Passover?'

'In Jerusalem.'

'How do you know?'

'I learned it in my parents' home', she said.

Once, she shared her precious food with a dying inmate.

People nodded their heads in disbelief ...

Her response? A response that has kept Judaism alive throughout the ages.

'My children must know what it means to live as a Jew.

As a child, I learned about caring for the sick. And I want my children to learn it in my home.

... I could not choose the home - but I can preserve its spirit.'

Yaffa Eliach; Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust (Oxford Press, 1982)













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