Parsha Talk Va’era 5783 2023

Parsha Talk with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat Va-era [Exodus 6:2–9:35] begins with verses [6{2–3] that feature prominently in modern biblical criticism. “Elohim spoke to Moshe, and He said to him, I am YHVH. And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob by El Shaddai, and my name YHVH I did not make known to them”. At the very least, God did not appear to the patriarchs in the same way that He appeared to Moshe. For those critically minded, these verses indicate a change in worship. The verses are followed by 3 verses [6–8] which feature in the determination of cups of wine at the Seder. But the parashah is perhaps best known for the 1st seven plagues. Our conversation meandered, sometimes touching on verses, sometimes on comparisons between God and Pharaoh, Moshe and Pharaoh, Moshe and Aaron, sometimes on other topics. We hope you find it rewarding. Shabbat Shalom!