God sent Amram's son Moses to bring the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt and to give them the Torah. Moses was sent to fulfil God's promise to Abraham concerning leaving Egypt.

Before the Israelites left Egypt, God struck the Egyptians to punish them for their wickedness. The blows were severe, but even so they refused to listen to God and release the Israelites until they were dealt the tenth and final blow. Meanwhile the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt. God first commanded them to prepare a Pesach offering on the tenth of Nisan, and to offer it on the fourteenth of that month towards evening. They baked matsahs, a symbol of the 'bread of torment' that they had eaten while still slaves in Egypt. These were a sign of the new freedom that would come to the people of Israel.

While they were preparing to leave Egypt, God struck the Egyptians with the final blow - every firstborn Egyptian died in the middle of the night. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, was afraid that he too would die (as he was the firstborn in his family), so he quickly expelled the Israelites on the fifteenth of Nisan.

Before they had left Egypt well behind them, Pharaoh changed his mind and started to chase after them, so as to bring them back to Egypt. One week after they left they stood in front of a large sea and could not cross to the other side and freedom. Moses then raised his stick over the sea, and the sea suddenly split into two. The Israelites walked on the dry patch in the middle of the sea. The Egyptian army chased after them into the sea, and the Israelites were afraid and cried to God and to Moses to save them. As soon as they reached the other side, Moses raised his stick towards the Egyptians, who were in the middle of the sea, and all of them drowned. Then the Israelites sang a song of thanks and praise to God for saving them from the Egyptians. This is known as the 'Song of the Sea'.

The main themes - The Exodus




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05 Jan 2006 / 5 Tevet 5766 0