4 Items

The Meaning of Five

This portion begins with a description of Israel leaving Egypt. Part of that account relates the following: “And the children of Israel went up armed from the land of Egypt” (Exodus 13:18). Rashi explains that the root word for “armed” (chamushim) is the same as that of the word “five” (chamesh). Thus, after first explaining […]

Music and Prophecy

Crossing the Reed Sea and observing the Egyptians drowning in the sea marks the end of the Jewish people’s exile in Egypt, the culmination of years of slavery and oppression (Exodus 15:1-19). The Midrash teaches that God’s revelation at the sea was so great that the simplest handmaiden witnessed more than even Ezekiel the prophet […]

The Spiritual Treasure of Shabbat

“And Moses said: Eat it today, for today is a Shabbat for God, today you will not find it in the field” (Exodus 16:25). This verse is part of the extensive instructions Moses gave the children of Israel about the manna, the “bread from heaven,” that sustained them throughout their forty year sojourn in the […]

Beshalach and Tu B’Shvat

Every year, the weekly Torah portion of Beshalach is read in close proximity to the holiday of Tu B’Shvat. There are in fact many beautiful and deep allusions to Tu B’Shvat (literally, the Fifteenth [day of the month] of Shevat; the New Year of the Trees) in the portion. Some of these relate to the healing power of trees […]