1-minute Lessons on Book of Exodus by Rabbi Nachman Simon

One-minute audio lessons on special points from weekly Torah readings in the Book of Exodus. Shared with permission from Rabbi Nachman Simon.



(1) 1:8-14. Trust in G-d – Not in Politicians!


(2) 1:15-22. Self-Sacrifice of the Jewish Women in Egypt


(3) 3:1-9. Why was Moshe Picked as the Leader?


(4) 3:10-12. Moshe was Chosen Regardless of His Speech Impediment


(5) A Spiritual Reason for Moshe’s Speech Impediment


(6) 3:21-22. G-d’s Instruction to Take the Gold and Silver from Egypt


(7) 5:1-5. Pharaoh Believes in Nature but G-d is Higher than Nature

Director’s note: The Tetragrammaton (4-letter) Name of G-d in Hebrew is His most holy Name, and it is forbidden to be pronounced as it is written. To speak about this Name and the level of transcendent G-dliness which it represents (higher than nature, and the source of open miracles), we rearrange the four letters into a different order, and call it the name Havayeh.


(8) 5:6-21. Evil Will Be Punished With Divine Justice

(9) 5:22. Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Further explanation of the question by Moshe [the name “Moses” in Hebrew] is give by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in his talks that are the basis of the insights for the portion of Va’eira in the book In the Garden of the Torah, pub. by Sichos In English (quoted with permission; Director’s notes inserted in brackets):

Bringing faith into your thinking process

Unless we make efforts to unite faith and thought, we can create a dichotomy between belief and actual life. Indeed, evidence of such a dichotomy is all too common. The need to resolve this schism explains why the previous Torah reading, Parshas Shmos, concludes by describing how Moshe approached G‑d, and asked [Ex. 5:22]: “O G‑d, why do You mistreat Your people…?”

Moshe’s question did not reflect a lack of faith. Undoubtedly, Moshe believed; and so did all the people… [Rashi on Ex. 4:2] But Moshe realized that his responsibility was to be a “shepherd of faith”, to nurture the people’s faith until it affected their thinking processes. This is why he asked.

In response to Moshe’s question, G‑d brought about the miracles described in our Torah reading. Moshe’s endeavors to make faith a factor in everyday life evoked a response from G‑d. Similar concepts apply in every generation, for miracles are not a thing of the past. In every generation, G‑d shows His great love for His people by performing deeds that transcend the natural order.

At times, a person for whom a miracle occurs may not recognize what has happened, and on other occasions the miracles are open, obvious for all to see. Indeed, in the recent past, we have seen great wonders which G‑d has wrought on our behalf. Among these are: the Gulf War, the fall of Communism, and the massive waves of Jews coming to the Land of Israel.

Our prophets have promised [Michah 7:15], “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.” Just as the miracles which G‑d wrought in Egypt heralded the exodus, so too, may the miracles we have witnessed and will witness foreshadow the ultimate Redemption. And may this take place in the immediate future.



(1) 6:2-8. Stay Tuned for the Greatest Revelations!


(2) Chapter 7.

(a) Why did Moshe’s Staff Turn Specifically to a Snake?


(b) Changing Nature!


(c) Discerning Between Miracles and Magic.


(3) 7:19-25. The First Plague in Egypt – the Nile Turned to Blood




(1) 10:1-3. G-d Says, “Come With Me”!


(2) Chapter 11. Why was the Plague of the First Born Exactly at Midnight?

For our web page with more on this subject, click here: The 10th Plague in Egypt: Kabbalah and Modern Science


(3) Chapter 12. Why Did the Israelites in Egypt Take a Sheep for the Passover Sacrifice?




(1) 13:18. Why Only One in Five Israelites Left Egypt*

*(Those who did not leave died during the plague of darkness. See Rashi on Exodus 10:22.)


(2) 14:10-15. What Does One Do When Feeling Trapped?


(3) 14:21-15:21. Splitting the Red Sea!


(4) Chapter 16. Lesson of the Manna – Trust in G-d!




(1) 18:15. Why One Goes to a Rebbe


(2) 18:17-26. Moses is advised by Yisro to set up a court system.


(3) Chapter 20:

(a) Why are the 10 Commandments So Basic?


(b) The answer Moses gave to the angels’ complaint.


(c) The Torah is More than Peace and Love


(d) The 3 Partners in Life




(1) 21:1. How does a “Law” get placed in front of you?

Rashi explains that it should be prepared like a “set table”, which in Hebrew is “shulchan aruch.” This was the title chosen for the Shulchan Aruch – the Code of Jewish Law. The shulchan aruch for the Torah laws of the Noahide Code was compiled by Rabbi Moshe Weiner, titled Sheva Mitzvot HaShem in Hebrew, and The Divine Code in English.


(2) 21:2-11. Laws of Hebrew servants follow the The Commandments


(3) Chapter 21. Prison is Not a Torah-based Punishment!

To watch a sub-titled video of the Rebbe giving a talk on this important subject, click here.


(4) Chapter 21. What is the Meaning of “An Eye for an Eye…”?


(5) Chapter 22. Don’t Persecute Anyone!

Rashi explains (22:21): “This applies to anyone, but Torah speaks of that which is prevalent, for they [widows and orphans] are weak, and persecuting them is a common thing.


(6) Chapter 23. Help Your Body!




(1) Chapters 25-27. Measurements for the Tabernacle: Finding the Infinite in the Finite


(2) Chapters 25-26. The Holy Ark was Miraculous!




Exodus 27:20-21. The Birthday of Moses! (7th of Adar I)



Ki Sisa

(1) Exodus ch. 30. What is the meaning of the command to give a half-shekel?


(2) Exodus ch. 32. How could some of the Jews have worshiped the golden calf?


(3) Exodus 32:26-29. How did the Tribe of Levi get to be so Special?


(4) Exodus ch. 35. Be the First to Give!