Parshat Bo

(Numbers 10:1-13:16)

(Haftara:  Jeremiah 46:13-28)

(Rosh Chodesh)

  1. [11:3] “God gave the people (of Israel) charm in the eyes of Egypt; also the man Moshe was very big in the land of Egypt…” The commentaries tell us that the Egyptians liked the Israelites because of Moshe who brought on the plagues. They liked the nation because of the person whom they feared and respected. What does this tell us about the Egyptians, or perhaps about human nature in general?
  2. [11:3] “God gave the people (of Israel) charm in the eyes of Egypt; also the man Moshe was very big in the land of Egypt…” God could have created conditions in such a way that the Israelites could have left Egypt in a less violent way.  Why did God want the Israelites to leave in such a dramatic way?
  3. [12:9] “Don’t eat it raw or boiled…” …” The last thing that the Israelites were supposed to do in Egypt was to have a meal and eat the Passover lamb quickly, with one’s shoes on and a staff in one’s hand, while being protected from the devastation outside by the blood on their door-posts.  What was the point of this kind of departure from Egypt?
  4. [12:11] “…and you shall eat it in haste…” “Haste” or “energy” is a value in a Torah way of life. There is even an opinion that if a commandment is not done with alertness and liveliness, one has not fulfilled the commandment. Why should one’s frame of mind affect whether one has fulfilled the commandment?
  5. [Rosh Chodesh] In the “Ya’aleh v’yavo”  prayer that we say on Rosh Chodesh, there is a difference between the Ashkenazi version of the prayer and the Sefardi. In the Ashkenazi version, we ask God for “life and for peace”, while in the Sefardi version, we ask God for  “a  good life, and for peace”. Surely Ashkenzim also want a good life. What is the significance of this difference?

Commentary

[10:9 ] “And Moshe said, ‘With our youth and with our old,  we will go…”

If a person brings with him his youthfulness, then he can also grow spiritually in his old age.  Through his youth, he can also be in the category of “going” even in his old age.

–R. Elimelech of Lizhensk, the Noam Elimelech, Poland, (1717-1786).

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker

And  to the memory of Sarah Beila Kummer bat Yitzchak and Chana, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

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