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Dr. Israel Eldad

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An Introduction to the Book of Shmot
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by Dr. Israel Eldad

"One leaves Beresheit and enters Shmot, as one leaves the home of mom and
dad, where even the arguments were warm and heartening . . . .  No more whistling of flocks, but rather whistling of the masters' whips; not one person's prayer, but rather the crying of the multitudes; not a dream, not one single dream, but a difficult and bitter reality; no visions in the night, no but rather a People drowning in water, and an entire People yelling in thirst in the desert 'Bring us water;' not a son who buys from his father a blessing and the freedom at their divine father and demand to be returned tothe fleshpots.

And from a singular Lech-Lecha to the Lech-Lecha of a People. When you closeyour eyes, how wonderful it is to reminisce and remember the good book of Beresheit; and when you open your eyes again, it is the book of Shmot thatyou see, that you feel, with its screams of bondage and its scorch of desert. Now go and see: how easy were the works of creation, how easy it wasfor the Creator to make light and order out of chaos, to form life from material. And how hard, oh how hard it is to form a People out of the Children of Israel."  

Contemplations of the Bible, Tel Aviv, 1986