This is the opening session of a series that will tackle the Book of Shemot. The core texts that we studied are the introductions to the Book by Ramban and Seforno – each presents a unique lense through which to read the book. One of the fundamental dichotomies that run through out the Chumash, and is keenly felt in Shemot, is the Jewish People as a nation or a religion. The way that the Ramban expresses this tension is in response to the question of when the exile of Egypt is “fixed”? It appears that there are two potential end points to Exodus – Sinai and the entrance into the Land. Is it through Moshe or Yehoshua that the Egyptian exile is finally brought to its conclusion? Do we become a nation with the receipt of the laws of the Torah on Sinai (in the desert, outside of Israel) or only with in the entry into the Land and the established of our own government?
The texts that we used can be found at this link.
In addition here are the two audio files of the class: