In this week’s episode, Daniel and Karl are joined by Manoj Zecharia to discuss Exodus Ch. 3. Listen below. Show notes follow.
(Midrash Rabbah) Now Moses, tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro (3:1)
….also Moses was tested by G‑d through sheep. Our rabbis relate that when Moses was tending the flock of Jethro in the wilderness, a little kid escaped from him. He ran after it until it reached a shady place. When it reached the shady place, there appeared in view a pool of water, and the kid stopped to drink. When Moses approached it, he said: “I did not know that you ran away because of thirst; you must be weary.” So he placed the kid on his shoulder and walked back. Thereupon G‑d said: Because you were merciful in leading the flock of a mortal, you shall tend My flock, the people of Israel.
(Midrash Rabbah) He came to the mountain of G‑d, to Horeb (3:1)
The mountain had five names: The Mountain of G‑d, Mount Bashan, the Mountain of Peaks, Mount Horeb and Mount Sinai.
(Midrash Rabbah/Rashi) after the free pastureland: to distance himself from [the possibility of] theft, so that they [the flocks] would not pasture in others’ fields. — [from Exodus Rabbah 2:3]
(Rashi) The angel of G‑d appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a thornbush (3:2)
Why in a thornbush and not some other tree? In order to demonstrate that “I am with them in their affliction.”
(Midrash Tanchuma) G‑d called to him out of the midst of the bush: . . . “I am the G‑d of your father” (3:4–6)
G‑d first called to Moses in the voice of Amram his father, so as not to startle him. At that moment Moses rejoiced, saying, “My father still lives.” Said G‑d: “I am not your father, but the G‑d of your father.”
(Maayanah Shel Torah) Moses said to G‑d: “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh . . . ?” And He said: “. . . This is your sign that I have sent you” (3:11–12)
This itself—your humility—is the reason why I have chosen you.
(Talmud; Rashi) G‑d said to Moses: “I am who I am.” And He said: “Thus shall you say to the children of Israel: ‘I am’ has sent me to you” (3:14)
G‑d said to Moses: “Go and say to Israel: ‘I am’ with you in this servitude, and ‘I am’ with you in the servitude of the other kingdoms.”
Said Moses to G‑d: “Master of the Universe! It is enough that they deal with each trouble in its time!” (Meaning: why speak to them now of their future subjugations?)
Said G‑d: “You have spoken well. Go and tell them: ‘I am’ has sent me to you.”
(Midrash Rabbah) G‑d said to Moses: You want to know My name? I am called by My deeds. I might be called E‑l Sha‑dai, or Tzevakot, or Elokim, or HaVaYaH. When I judge My creatures, I am called Elokim. When I wage war on the wicked, I am called Tzevakot. When I tolerate the sins of man, I am called E‑l Sha‑dai. When I have compassion on My world, I am called HaVaYaH . . .”