This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1). From the supposedly “well-known” stories in this portion, Gordon and Johnson clear away centuries of clutter left by mistranslations, Halacha, and Cecil B. DeMille’s version of events. In the spotlight is the burning bush scene where very clearly God revealed his one and only name to Moses. With instructions for present and future use, he left no room for misunderstanding. Gordon and Johnson explain how we got so messed up and what to do about it.
The light of language, history and context is also shed on the following: Did Jewish slaves build the pyramids? Were the midwives Hebrew or Egyptian? What is the Egyptian context of the name Moses? Do we know the identity of the man whom Moses witnessed being beaten? Did Moses “help” or “save” the daughters of Jethro? Where did Moses feel like a stranger? What is comforting about the three signs given to the Israelites? What did a zealous scribe do to protect the name of Moses from being tainted?
Word studies include: "swarmed," "task masters," "dread," "lively," “heavy tongue,” “Mt Sinai,” “Mt. Horeb,” and to be “as God.” Concerning “shemati” (I have heard), Gordon encourages listeners to slow down like Moses did upon seeing the bush, and to bring all their stuff, big and little, to Yehovah, knowing that he hears our cries.