- Despite God's message that they will be redeemed from slavery, the Israelites' spirits remain crushed. God instructs Moses and Aaron to deliver the Israelites from the land of Egypt. (6:2-13)
- The genealogy of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and their descendants is recorded. (6:14-25)
- Moses and Aaron perform a miracle with a snake and relate to Pharaoh God's message to let the Israelites leave Egypt. (7:8-13)
- The first seven plagues occur. God hardens Pharaoh's heart, and Pharaoh rescinds each offer to let the Israelites go. (7:14-9:35)
I saw the new Ridley Scott version of “Exodus” a few weeks back. I didn’t realize that watching the movie was going to tie into my D’var Torah. Mind you, I didn’t hear a lisp, slur or other speech impediment come forth out of Christian Bale’s mouth, but that’s Hollywood.
As you look at the stories in the Torah, there is a reason that the story of Moses and Israelites has been put on celluloid a few times. It truly is spectacular. Here we have Moses, being directed by
G-d to help free the Israelites and lead them to the promised land. It’s an extra-large bucket of popcorn epic.
What I had never realized before, digging deep into this parsha, is how crucial Aaron is in the whole story. Not only does he speak for Moses; he actually is the one who helps to bring forth the first three plagues that G-d strikes against Pharaoh and the Egyptians. I don’t remember big brother Aaron being such a big part of Cecil B. DeMille’s film of films, nor did I see it presented in that way in Ridley Scott’s newest creation. There wasn’t even a TNT television film amongst all their old testament films 20 or so years ago. Let’s face it, big brother Aaron has been slighted by the Hollywood elite.
I wonder what would of happened if big brother Aaron wasn’t around? Would Moses have been able to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land? Would the plagues not have been initiated with such command without big brother helping to get it going?
In some ways, the relationship between Moses and Aaron is almost as if G-d was trying to do a re-direct on brotherly relationships. I mean, the first brotherly relationship in the Torah, that of Cain and Able, didn’t fare too well...and Moses’ grandfather was one of the brother’s who threw Joseph down a well and left him for dead. In the madras and most movie versions, Moses and Ramses II grew up as “brothers” themselves and we know where that went. Good times.
There is a humbleness to Aaron. He does what he does not for any great bravura or excitement, but out of true necessity. Without Aaron, there is no departing Egypt. He’s the unsung hero of the story.