Between Genesis and Exodus – As we usher in 2024

This year enters exactly at the transition between the reading of the weekly Torah passages from the end of the book of Genesis and the beginning of the book of Exodus.

By Anat Schneider | | Topics: Bible
Israeli soldiers and civilians pray with a Torah scroll that survived the Holocaust at a rest area near the border with the Gaza Strip, December 21, 2023. Photo: Chen Schimmel/Flash90
Israeli soldiers and civilians pray with a Torah scroll that survived the Holocaust at a rest area near the border with the Gaza Strip, December 21, 2023. Photo: Chen Schimmel/Flash90

Genesis starts with the creation of the world, then focuses on the creation of the family, Abraham’s family and his descendants.

The book of Genesis is also the book that accompanied us from the beginning of the current war. The reading of Genesis began on the very day of the terrible massacre, on Simchat Torah when the yearly Torah reading cycle begins at Genesis 1; and then the weekly Genesis readings accompanied us throughout the difficult days of the war until now.

You can literally see a parallel between the events in Genesis and our current situation. It started with chaos (“tohu va’vohu” 1:2), and proceeded to brutal murder stemming from abysmal jealousy and hatred (Gen. 4). It was a replay of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19), as if there is no law and order in the world. And what is frightening about these actual acts of Sodomy, were the cries of “Allah hu Akbar” as if God was being honored by them! Heresy for its own sake.

Within the nation of Israel there was a split and division among the brothers (Gen. 37), a situation that could have developed further, ended much worse. But as in the book of Genesis a captive was “only” thrown into a black and dark pit. From him we now have to learn how to get out. And maybe start to see the light at the edge of the darkness.

Now with the end of the book of Genesis and the beginning of the book of Exodus… Those brothers, the sons of Jacob, having become the tribes of Israel, are initially slaves (Ex.1). They are imprisoned, they are suffocated, they are hated – Just like the Israelites today. But all of these will soon become a united nation, and set out together on a journey of formation, love, faith, brotherhood, and deep mutual commitment.

Everything that happens in the book of Exodus and beyond was successful thanks to a spiritual leader full of the spirit and inspiration of God’s glory. Moses.

This is a leader who at first stuttered a bit, was a stranger to his people, even hesitant. But when he agreed to take on the burden of leadership, he was completely filled with God’s spirit and inner strength. This leader cared about the people much more than he cared about himself. He taught us what it means to cancel the ego and dedicate yourself to the mission. He taught us to do things with strength, but with a lot of humility. He spoke for the people, and for the poor. And he cared for them. Moshe (Moses) was a dedicated leader, wise and full of God’s glory.

This is the kind of leader we need today for the people of Israel!

A leader who will be full of an inner spirit of God’s glory!

Who will understand God’s wisdom; who will set compassion before his eyes!

Who will put the good of the people always first, even if it is before his personal interests!

We need a leader today from whom we can be inspired and with whom we can feel protected and safe!

We need a leader who will give us hope…

That there is a way forward, even if it is not currently visible…

And even if there is still a need to walk further through the desert, in an unsown land…

That there is a way out, a chance to get out of this mess.

And begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel in more ways than one.

May this year of 2024 be blessed and full of inspiration.

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