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Beshalach / בְּשַׁלַּח Parsha Overview: Free at last!

This is a basic overview of the parsha story in a “Q&A” format adaptable for kids of any age.  Answers in brackets are traditional responses, from parsha text and midrash.  But be open to anything your child might have to say!

Please see the Vayeishev overview for how we use them in our homeschool!  There are also copywork sheets to go with the weekly parsha… enjoy!

(No, my kids didn’t draw the pictures… they were borrowed from the Bible Cartoon Blog.)

image At the end of last week’s parsha, מֹשֶׁה led בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל out of מִצְרַיִם.

Even though בני ישראל were in a hurry, משה remember… (to bring the bones of יוֹסֵף)

Where were the bones all this time? (in the Nile River)  Who told משה where to look?  (סרח בת אשר)

Some people think משה used the special words “עלה שור” (“rise up, ox”).  The powerful ox symbolizes… (יוסף)


So, with the bones of יוסף, away went בני ישראל – in a hurry!

There was a short way and a long way to bring get to ארץ כנען – which did ה׳ choose?  (the long way!)

The short way went through (the country of theפְּלִשְׁתִּים ), and (the פלשתים were enemies and might want to fight).

ה׳ knew if they got into a war right away, בני ישראל… (might get nervous and want to go back to מצרים)


בני ישראל sometimes had to travel night and day without stopping!

ה׳ sent… (pillars to travel in front of them); each pillar looked like a huge… (column, pole, telephone pole)

During the day, ה׳ travelled in a… (pillar of clouds); at night, ה׳ travelled in a… (pillar of fire).

The pillars helped בני ישראל to know… (that it was really ה׳ who was telling them where to go)image

 But they were not away from פרעה just yet!

פרעה changed his mind one last time, and… (chased after בני ישראל)

Not just פרעה, but his… (entire army) came chasing out of… (מצרים) after them!

How did בני ישראל feel, seeing פרעה’s army chasing them so quickly?  (very, very frightened!)

But משה said, “Stop complaining!  Watch and you will see how ה׳… (fights for you).”


How would they get away from the מצרי army?

בני ישראל were stuck – right in front of them lay the deep water of the… (ים סוף, Red Sea, Sea of Reeds)

One brave man, (נחשון בן עמינדב) jumped into the water; he believed ה׳ would save בני ישראל.

ה׳ told משה to… (hold up his staff) over the water of the ים סוף.  When he did that… (the water split!)


image The water became solid, like walls of glass on either side as בני ישראל walked through!

Did בני ישראל get their feet wet, walking across that great big sea?  (no, they did not!)

פרעה saw בני ישראל crossing the ים סוף and he got excited – he thought (his soldiers could get across, too!)

So פרעה sent his soldiers to… (chase בני ישראל into the sea)


The minute the last of בני ישראל were safe on the other side, ה׳ closed up the sea.

Did פרעה’s army walk across with dry feet?  (no, they did not!)  פרעה’s army… (all drowned – every last one of them)

On the other side of the Yam Suf, בני ישראל sang (שִּׁירָה – a song of gratitude) in two different groups:

משה led… (the men’s group); מִרְיָם led… (the women’s group, playing the  תֹּף / tambourine / timbrel and singing)


But the difficult journey in the מִּדְבָּר was just beginning!

image They complained that… (they were thirsty); so in מרים’s זכות/merit, a well followed בני ישראל that gave plenty of water.

They complained that… (they were hungry), so ה׳ sent… (מָן, a special food to keep them perfectly healthy.

Every day, בני ישראל would gather… (enough מן for that day); if they had any extra… (it would go wormy!)

But on Fridays… (they would gather twice as much to have some for שבת; the extra wouldn’t go bad.)

We still remember this by having… (two challahs at every שבת meal!)

Some people wanted to make fun of משה and put out מן on שבת… (but birds came and ate it!)

(“Shabbos Shira/שבת שירה” is also a special day for birds; we can feed them crumbs on Friday if we remember!)


Suddenly, enemies from עֲמָלֵק  came and attacked!

משה did 2 things:  Sent יהושע… (to fight with עמלק!); Stood on a hill… (and held up his arms so בני ישראל would daven!)

When משה got tired and put down his arms… (עמלק would start to win), so he got two helpers to… (hold them up)


יהושע’s army fought hard, but they only won because בני ישראל kept davening!

We were finally ready to hear ה׳’s most important message… we’ll find out what it was in next week’s parsha!