Student Teaching in the New Millenium

5771 Pesach V

In General on April 24, 2011 at 1:43 am

I never understood the narrative of this Parsha. Moses, on the strength of God’s singling him out by name, asks God to know His ways. God decides to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land after previously saying he would not. Moses goes on to ask that, unless God goes in the lead, how would the world know that the Israelites are his distinguished possession? It is only after this that God acknowledges His favor of Moses, and says “I will also do this thing which you have asked,” and reveals Himself to Moses. The order of statements has always confused me; why are they ordered thus?

But I think it’s significant. Ezekiel is concerned with the matter of life and death. On the surface, this is a message of resurrection. I think Ezekiel really says “Have hope, O House of Israel! Even in death, the Lord is your God! And He does not break his promises”. This message is singled out by name: Hope. But it comes after the people are given life and profess their lack of it. Why didn’t God lead them to Israel before they died? Why is it necessary to raise them to life, without their hope intact, and then make this statement separately?

Why is it necessary for God to decide to lead the Israelites before acknowledging Moses’ request, and then acknowledge Moses’ request separately?

Are the Israelites from Egypt, in Ezekiel’s view, like the people in this vision who “lived”, but are still treated as dead?

Ezekiel is an incredible, horrific poet.

Why is the injunction against bathing a calf in it’s mothers’ milk again here repeated?


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