July 22, 2017 ~ Sh M-M. Maqam NAHWAND.

Shabbat Shemot

The Hebrew Midwives

ותיראן המילדת את האלהים - In a new era for Egypt, the king suddenly views the Children of Israel as a demographic threat, and secretly commands the chief midwives, Shifra and Puah, to engage in infanticide against all Hebrew males. Ignoring this decree, we read that the midwives had a "fear of God" and deliberately decide to disobey the orders. These brave women, who themselves were probably not Hebrews (as per Abarbanel), have completely risked their lives for the sake of following their consciences and doing what was right. The Torah informs us that this "fear of God" did not go unnoticed, and that these midwives, whose vocation was to build families for others, would now be rewarded with "homes" of their own. This interesting story, a rare spark of light in a world filled with darkness, is a stark reminder that God rewards people every day for making righteous and courageous decisions (Beth Torah, 1/21/17).