Shabbat Shalom – Va’era

Image: Egyptian tomb painting. Photo by Souza_DF/Pixabay.

Parashat Va’era (Exodus 6:2 – 9:35) continues the saga of the struggle between God and Pharaoh. It deals with Moses’ feelings of inadequacy, the obstinacy of Pharaoh, and the first seven plagues.

The story of Exodus has had deep resonance for people in time of trouble. Enslaved people in each generation have seized upon it for hope.

Beyond the familiar story, what can we learn from this portion of the Torah? Here are some contemporary divrei Torah that explore parashat Va’era:

A Message for Moses and America: “Never Give Up” by Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan

Take a Deep Breath by Rabbi David Ackerman

Elisheva: Challenging the patriarchal structure with her mixed feelings by Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild

Earning Our Luck by Rabbi Marc Katz

Sight Words by Anita Silvert

Executive Orders Based on Fear Won’t Work. Ask Pharaoh. by Rabbi Seth Goldstein

The Moral and Historical Imperatives of Exodus by Rabbi Jason Strauss


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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

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