Suggested Discussion Questions
1. What does it mean to "do good"?
2. How can we devote ourselves to justice?
These three major episodes in Moses's adult life occur before God speaks to Moses at the burning bush.
1. What do we learn about Moses’s character from his reactions to these three situations?
2. What strengths does Moses display that make him the right choice to lead the Jewish people out of their slavery in Egypt?
3. What weaknesses does Moses display in these scenes?
4. Which of these strengths or weaknesses do you and your community display? How do they affect your ability and your community's ability to create social change?
1. In Ramban’s reading of Exodus 3:2, God's presence was there from the beginning, but Moses couldn’t see it because he hadn’t “prepared his heart for prophecy.” What do you imagine Moses did to prepare his heart to see the burning bush?
2. In your own life, what processes do you go through in order to sensitize yourself to perceive realities of the world around you? What processes might a community need to go through to become sensitized to the realities of the world around them?
3. What is the significance of ‘turning aside’ for Moses? For God? For us?
1. After years of being in relationship with God, how does Moses attempt to know God more deeply?
2. In what ways does God comply with Moses’s request, and in what ways does God hold back?
Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek, Dvar Torah on /Parshat Vaera/, American Jewish World Service, 2006:
God didn’t harden Pharaoh’s heart ten times in order to bring the Israelites out of Egypt; God hardened Pharaoh’s heart again and again so that Moses, and everyone who learned from his life, would know that working to change the world can be frustrating and demands awesome persistence and discipline.
1. According to Rabbi Spodek, God hardened Pharoah’s heart in order to teach Moses how much persistence and discipline is needed to change the world. How do you react to this reading?
2. How can we inspire our communities to stay devoted to the hard work that will make a real difference in the world and in our community.?
1. What are some of the many aspects of life that this verse may be referring to? What do you infer from it?
2. In what ways do children learn from their parents' behaviors?
3. What path can we set for the future?