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Shabbat Shemot (Ex. 1:1-6:1)

In the book, “The Torah Portion by Portion” by Seymour Rossell, an explanation of the name Moshe is given (I paraphrase): Masah in Egyptian means “child of” and is typically preceded by a god’s name, i.e. TuMasah (child of Tu), or RaMasah (child of Ra) when naming a child. Pharoah’s daughter, in naming the Hebrew child whom she draws from the Nile, seems to indicate that she knows his origin. More importantly, she acknowledges his people’s belief in only one God, and that this one God of the Hebrews is not limited to a particular realm or association. “Moshe” in Egyptian could have deliberately inferred, “child of the invisible God.”

In saving the infant Pharoah’s daughter brazenly defies the order of her father to kill all Jewish babies. In naming him however, she acknowledges the Hebrew God and perhaps even hints at her father’s powerlessness and the falseness of his faith, giving the literary device of “names” added impact in this context.

The Egyptian name Masah (or Masha) sounds enough like mashach in the Hebrew to promote a popular pun to explain Moshe’s name; “drawn from the water.”

SO… limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring a food with a name which makes a statement.


Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.

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