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Daily Aliya for Shemot, Sheni (2nd Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Pharaoh called the midwives to task for not following orders. They answered that the Hebrew women were skilled in midwifery and delivered their babies before they even arrived. G‑d rewarded the midwives for their bravery. Pharaoh then commanded the Egyptians to cast all newborn male Israelites into the Nile. Moshe was born. His mother, who feared for her baby’s life, put him into a waterproofed basket and set him afloat in the Nile. Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe, and took the child as her own. Moshe’s sister Miriam, who observed the entire episode, offered to bring a Hebrew nursemaid for the child, and when Pharaoh’s daughter agreed to the suggestion, Miriam called the child’s mother. Moshe’s mother nursed the child and after he was weaned brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter.

The Midrash explains that each threat to the Jewish people generated a corresponding bright star to help the Jews. Miriam is a result of the bitter work forced on the Jews (the root of her name is Mar – bitter). Moshe was borne of the order to throw all males into the river (the root of his name is Meshit – to draw from water). Aaron was borne of the threat to pregnancy (the root of Aaron is Erayon – pregnancy). Clearly, for every negative created in the world, a corresponding positive is brought to combat and equalize its influence – an encouraging lesson from this Aliya, and the Midrash.