08 Jan Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Sh’mot 5775
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Sh’mot which begins the story that will last the rest of the Torah, the story of the Israelites, their exodus from Egypt and their travels through the desert. But before Moshe leads the people out of Egypt he first spends some time in Midian where he escaped to after killing an Egyptian. While there he saw the burning bush, got married and had a son whom he named Gershom. The etymology of Gershom’s name is explained in Chapter 2 verse 22 in which Moshe is quoted as saying “I have been a stranger in a foreign land” (JPS). It shows us that despite the fact that Moshe became married and worked as a shepherd during his time in Midian he still only truly felt at home when among his own people. Nowadays, the world is much smaller than it was in ancient times and we can all feel at home even when we are away through the miracles of modern technology and our advanced communication systems such as cell phones and video-chatting. But ultimately, true comfort comes from being at home. The trick is to make wherever you might live into your new home.