Women’s Torah Portion

Women’s Parsha- Shemot: “My Poor Child Were You Lost?”

The boy is standing on the sidewalk bewildered. He’s looking all around confused… just a few seconds ago he was right next to his mother and now she’s nowhere in sight. His eyes scan the people around him looking for that familiar and loving face and he doesn’t know what to do. His sad eyes give away his situation and strange people he doesn’t know want to help but that just makes him shrink inside himself. Everyone asks: “What’s wrong sweet child, are you lost?”

After what feels like forever he hears that familiar voice call out to him: “There you are! I was worried about you? To where did you disappear?”
The boy is now safe back in his mother’s arms. His internal storm and fears subsided.

Every person experiences moments of confusion and uncertainty in his life, fear, sadness and difficulties. The small child inside us feels lost and threatened or even disappointed with those loved ones we depended on that aren’t there for us now when we need them.

Sometimes the test comes from an unexpected surprise:

“And a new king rose over Egypt that did not remember Yosef.” You’d expect someone who benefitted from such great lifesaving kindness that Yosef did for them that they would be grateful for all subsequent generations that they’re alive. But what actually happened was the opposite of all logic. The situation deteriorated until the children of Israel were subjugated to slavery in the darkness of Egypt.

What was the cause of this catastrophe? Pharaoh’s words to his nation: “Behold the nation of the children of Israel is more plentiful and mightier than us…let us be clever with them lest they multiply… and wage war with us”. We see that specifically the pure goodness showered on Pharaoh from the Israelites threatens him for he is the personification of the evil Inclination and he decides to enslave the Israelites. This is an illustration of life in which bad always tries to conquer and enslave good.

If we remember this in our own lives we’ll notice that with all our pure intentions, parallel to those of the Yosef and the Israelites, we still encounter unexpected reactions from those around us which can hurt us or at least disappoint forcing us either to go on the offensive or subjugate ourselves to an unwanted situation based on the will of others that they brought upon us.

These unexpected tests arouse 2 opposing reactions: One is to allow “my strength and the might of my hand” to take over and get control of the situation. This actually fulfills Pharaoh’s prophetic fears of ‘multiplying and waging war against us.’ This means our dark inclinations are in charge of the situation.

The other reaction is to recognize and think about G-d’s goodness that’s implanted in us, to cleave to G-d and His path and to continue to spread goodness.

In our Parsha, Shemot there were 2 women that knew this secret and saved our nation with their kindness. The verse says: “And they (The midwives Shifra and Puah) gave life to the boys.” Each woman could have said to themselves: “What strength do I have here at all? I’ll get killed?” But they understood that if G-d put them to the test, it means that they have the ability to pass it and build worlds in a place without hope and against all odds.

We should know that our lives and happiness depends on our choosing the good path and specifically through our tests we can grow and give rise to worlds and generations to come. As the verse says; ‘And it was as much as the Egyptians tortured them that’s how much they multiplied”.  So should it be with us!!

Have a Great Shabbat!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


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