This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
The Burning Bush
In the portion of Shemot, the first portion in the book of Exodus, we read about Moses’ first experience of Divine revelation. The revelation was unique. Moses was tending the sheep of his father-in-law in the desert, when he saw a bush burning, yet the bush was not consumed.
As the Torah describes the encounter:
The little girl had been playing raucously, but now tears were streaming down her plump cheeks. She had fallen, scraped her delicate knee, and was bleeding slightly. Her sobs came in heaves, more due to the shock of her fall than the intensity of her pain.
There were several onlookers. Their responses were varied.
“Why was the child playing in such an unsafe setting?” criticized one.
“Who was supervising her?” demanded a second.
Vintage Wine or Split Peas
Joseph had revealed his identity to his brothers. He now urged them to return to Canaan to bring the joyous tidings that "Joseph yet lives" to their aged father Jacob, and to bring Jacob back to Egypt with his entire family and household. The Torah further relates that Joseph sent along food and gifts for Jacob with his brothers: "And to his father he sent the following: ten donkeys carrying the choice [foods] of Egypt, and ten she-donkeys carrying grain, bread, and [other] food, for his father for the way."
There are two different interpretations quoted by the commenter Rashi as to the nature of these "choice foods." One explanation is that he sent "vintage wine, which greatly pleases the elderly," while the other maintains that Joseph sent split peas. There is not one shade of detail in the explanations of our Torah-commentators that is, G‑d forbid, trite or trivial or lacking significance. Here too, both of the interpretations quoted by Rashi reveal new insights of understanding of the narrative.