Welcome to Torah portion Beshalach.
Beshalach means When he sent.
Scripture passage: Exodus 13:17-17:16
Read Aloud from My First Torah
The Hebrews came up out of Egypt quickly.
They were led with a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.
But soon they were in a very bad spot.
The great Red Sea was right in front of the camp.
On both sides of the camp were great walls of rock that couldn’t be climbed.
How would they get across the sea?
Then the situation got much worse.
Pharaoh realized how terrible it was for him to let the Hebrews go.
So he gathered his entire army and chased the Hebrews.
Now the Hebrews were trapped by the sea, with Pharaoh and his army right behind them.
The Hebrews were very scared and thought they were about to die.
But the pillar of cloud went behind them to block the Egyptian soldiers and chariots.
Then Moses told them to stand still and watch how YHVH would save them.
Then he held his rod over the Red Sea.
YHVH caused the wind to blow, and the waters divided and exposed the ground underneath.
The Hebrews walked across on dry ground!
When they all got safely across, the cloud moved and the Egyptian chariots followed.
But YHVH made the wheels fall off!
They got stuck and stumbled, and suddenly, the waters came back!
All the Egyptian army was destroyed, but YHVH delivered His people, Israel.
Moses and all of Israel sang a song to YHVH.
They praised and thanked Him for His wonderful deliverance.
They sang that there is no other god but YHVH.
He is powerful and mighty.
He threw Pharaoh and his army into the sea!
They sang about how YHVH promised to bring them to a land all their own.
Moses’ sister, Miriam, sang and danced with the other women.
Israel traveled three days into the desert and ran out of water.
They came to a place called Mara, but the water there was bitter.
They complained to Moses because of their thirst.
YHVH showed Moses a tree, which he threw into the water.
The water was sweet and good to drink!
YHVH then promised to keep them healthy, if they would obey Him.
Soon the Hebrews were very hungry.
They complained to Moses, and even wished they were back in Egypt.
YHVH took care of them again.
Every morning He fed them with manna.
They were to go out and collect this special manna from off the ground.
They could use it to make bread.
It tasted like coriander seeds and honey.
For six days, they were to collect what they needed for each day, with no leftovers.
But on the day before Shabbat, they should collect double and save some for Shabbat.
Most of Israel obeyed, but some did not.
Again, Israel became very thirsty and complained.
This time, Moses was told to strike a huge rock, and out of it came water in abundance.
YHVH cared for them even when they complained.
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