This week’s Torah portion of Jan. 8, 2022 is called Shemot, “Names” and is the first reading in the Book of Exodus.* It begins by listing the names of the Israelites who came to live in Egypt during the time of Joseph.
It is now two hundred years later. A new Pharaoh enslaves the Israelites in Egypt and sets laws to have the baby boys drowned in the Nile River. The famous story of Moses is told. When born he is placed in a basket in the water to save his life, then found by Pharaoh's daughter and adopted into their household.
As an adult Moses kills an Egyptian taskmaster who was beating a slave and escapes to the desert. Many years later he communicates with G-d through a burning bush. He goes back to Egypt to demand that Pharaoh lets the Israelite slaves go.
The ongoing story of Moses and Exodus is actually read in the Torah over a period of six weeks and is a time of conflict between Pharaoh who represents our ego and materialistic desires and our Soul and spirit which is represented by the Israelites.
This very conflict gives us the opportunity to achieve spiritual growth by choosing to love our fellow man which liberates our spirit.
By tapping into or aligning with the energy of Shemot we can receive help to release our spirit from bondage and experience the freedom of a state of inner peace.