Sunday, January 7, 2007

Parshat Sh'mot's many Harry Potter related themes

This week Torah portion starts the book of Sh'mot (Exodous), and transitions from the Patriarchs to the story of the Jews in Egypt and their redemption by G-d via Moshe (Moses).

The parsha of Sh'mot contains a number of references related to Harry Potter themes:

1. We see Moshe performing miraculous acts (a.k.a. magic) with his staff, one of the many Biblical stories of magic wands that are discussed in the chapter on Magic Wands in Harry Potter and Torah.

2. The story of the burning bush is one of the examples of magical protection, discussed in the book chapter by that name, and posted on this blog last week and on the book's Web site as a sample chapter.

3. In the story of Moshe killing the Egyptian man who was beating up the Jewish man, commentaries say that Moshe killed him by saying a magical Name of G-d. In Harry Potter terminology, this is one of the earliest examples of a killing curse in action. This is not discussed at length in the book, and I'll post more about this on the blog later this week. For those interested in looking it up, the citations to start with are Rashi, Ramban, and Rabbeinu Bechaya on Ex 2:12 and 2:14, and Midrash Shmos Raba 1:34.

Have a good week everyone!

No comments: