After the individual sagas that comprise so much of Genesis — Joseph’s story alone consumes the better part of 19 chapters — the speed at which the Israelites’ fortune reverses at the beginning of Exodus is stunning. And all it takes is one verse. In this week’s portion, Parashat Sh’mot, we read: “A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” (Ex.1:8)
I’m a middle-class Jewish kid from the suburbs of Chicago, raised with all the white privilege that ran rampant and quite unconscious in the 1960s and 1970s. It took a long time for me to actually get close to people different from me and to stand up for their rights. IRabbi Alexander discusses two people in Parashat Sh'mot who took the risk to help others who were less fortunate.