Bo
HIDDEN TREASURE PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by YEHUDA KATZ   

BO "And they (Israelites) emptied Egypt." (12:36)

The Israelites were commanded by G-d to request treasures from the Egyptians so that could leave Egypt with wealth as promised to Abraham. Our Sages confirmed that the treasures that washed up on shore when the Egyptians drowned in the sea was far greater than when they emptied out Egypt.(refer to Rashi Exodus 15:22)The question arises, however:If the Israelites emptied Egypt of all its treasure, from where did the Egptians obtain that which washed up on shore? I would like to propose an original answer, Bezrat Hashem, as follows: There were 2 types of treasures found in Egypt, one known in the open and one hidden. When the Israelites left Egypt, they requested the treasure that was out in the open. However, when the Egyptians pursued the Israelites they took with them their hidden treasures as a show of confidence.It seems that their hidden treasures were greater than their outward treasures.This is readily obvious based on Taanis 8b:"Blessing is not to be found in anything......

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Open up wide to Teshuvah! PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by Rafi Jager   
As we have know, Hashem brings redemption only after man attempts, even minimally, to return to Him. Klal Yisrael, immersed in Egyptian morals and culture, were unable to return to Hashem even in a minimal nature. Accordingly, Hashem took pity on them and passed over the fact that they had not even attempted to return. Hashem Himself carried out the redemption from beginning to end.
We also find in this week’s Haftorah, that Hashem promises that He will redeem the Bnei Yisroel. "And you, don't fear, my servant Jacob, and don't be dismayed Israel, because behold I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity..." (Jeremiah 46:27). Why must the verse relate that the Bnei Yisroel will be redeemed "from afar"? If they are needy of redemption, does this not imply that they are in some way distanced from Hashem? Chazzal have taught that the ultimate redemption can come in one of two ways. If the Bnei Yisroel do teshuvah then the redemption will
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Nature....or is it???? PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by Rafi Jager   
A significant connection to Yetziyat Mitzrayim seems to emerge from many of the mitzvos. The first two of the Aseres Hadibros read: "I am Hashem, your G-d, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me" (Shemos 20:2-3). The fourth commandment is the mitzvah to keep Shabbos, about which we say in kiddush every Friday night that it is "in remembrance of the redemption from Egypt." Numerous other commandments are mentioned over and over as being reminders of Hashem's bringing us out of Mitzrayim. It is obvious that the exodus was a monumental event in our history, but why is its remembrance so essential to the basic foundations of our belief and to the actual fulfillment of these commandments? I think the answer can be found by examining the events surrounding the exodus. The 10 makos that Hashem brings upon the Egyptians seem to warp the very nature of nature itself. An absolute darkness so thick that it can paralyze a person descends upon Egypt, yet the Jews continue to roam freely as always. The water
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The Darkness that formed a Nation PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by J Jacobs   
לֹא רָאוּ אִישׁ אֶת אָחִיו וְלֹא קָמוּ אִישׁ מִתַּחְתָּיו שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים וּלְכָל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הָיָה אוֹר בְּמוֹשְׁבֹתָם They did not see each other, and no one rose from his place for three days, but for all the children of Israel there was light in their dwellings (Shemos 10:23)

The Midrash tells us that the Mitzrim would make the Bnei Yisroel stand by their tables balancing a candle on their head whilst they ate their meals. They would stand there paralysed in fear as the Mitzri would beat them if they dared to move.

HaShem delivers punishment in this world mida-keneged-mida.

The Egyptians were struck with the makkah of darkness which was so tangible that according to the Midrash Rabbah it is said whoever was sitting could not stand and whoever was standing could not sit, i.e. that the darkness was so strong that the Egyptians were literally paralysed within it. During this makkah however Bnei Yisroel were able to see one another and to move around and what was more humiliating was that the Mitzrim saw that Bnei Yisroel had light where ever they went.
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Parashas Bo – Blinded by Money (long vort) PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by Daniel Sandground   
This week's sedra continues with our journey through the plagues which were sent to afflict Pharaoh and his land. Just as we saw a remez to the amount of plagues in the title of last week's sedra, so to here in Parashas Bo we see that the gematria of the word 'Bo/בא' is three which connects to the last three plagues which were Locust, Darkness and The Death of the Firstborn.

This weeks sedra therefore starts with Hashem telling Moshe to go to Pharaoh and pre-warn him about the next plague to come his way, locust. In his commands to Moshe, Hashem introduces a new factor in His reasoning for unleashing the plagues on Egypt stating that through His signs we shall “know that I am Hashem” and more interestingly “so that you may relate in the ears of your son and your son’s son that I made a mockery of Egypt” [both 10:2], which was successfully achieved with the Egyptians not only losing the Jewish people as slaves but having to endure ten painful plagues and lose all their valuable possessions due to Pharaohs stubbornness. With this new warning from Moshe, Pharaoh would have been expected to give in to the demands as he had just endured six plagues which proved the existence of G-d and at this point, even his servants were advising him to let the whole Jewish nation go. This was not what was seen however and instead Pharaoh offered an unreasonable compromise whereby he permitted the elders and leaders to go, and according to Ramban, eventually extended this offer to allow the adult males but not the women and children. According to the Or HaChaim, this compromise was a plan in order to keep the women and children as hostages in order to guarantee the return of the men. What is next described by the Torah is a new angle on Pharaoh’s responses with what seems to be a sarcastic comeback at Moshe’s counter-requests of letting the whole nation, including the women and children. Pharaoh sarcastically tells Moshe to, “go and serve Hashem” [10:8], adding that the nation should
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Bo PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by yehuda katz   
This Torah thought is being dedicated to my beloved father, Nachman Shimon ben Yehuda Meir Hakohan, Z"L.

"Against all of the Children of Israel, no dog barked." (11:7)

When the Jews left Egypt during the redemption, not a single dog barked at them. As a reward for "holding their tongues", the Jews were commanded to feed a dog a "treifah" (a nonkosher animal by virtue of a wound). We find a similar concept in regard to a donkey in verse (13), "Every firstborn donkey you shall redeem with a lamb." Rashi comments that a donkey is given this special distinction because the donkeys carried the spoils of the Jews out of Egypt.
A question can be asked as follows: It seems that the dog is getting more of a substantial reward than the donkey! The dog is being given meat that it can enjoy in the present, while the donkey is only being redeemed by a lamb. This is a great 'honor" for the donkey in comparison to other nonkosher animals, but still would not the donkey rather receive a reward that it can enjoy on a more materialistic level like the dog's reward.
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Bo -Sforno PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by yehuda katz   
This Torah thought is being dedicated to my beloved father, Nachman Shimon ben Yehuda Meir Hakohan, Z"L.

" So shall you eat it: Your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; you shall eat it in haste. " (12:11) This is the manner the Jews ate their pascal lamb before departing from Egypt. The Sforno states the following on this verse," The Jews demonstrated their trust in G-d by readying themslves for the journey while they were still in prison (Egypt)." The Jews were in a complete state of preparedness to leave Egypt. They had no doubt that G-d would fullfill his promise to bring them forth from Egypt .They were ready, and they showed it as a person departing from a location never to return leaving nothing behind. They demonstrated their perfect trust in G-d while still locked in servitude to the Egyptians. This took much courage and strength. However, there is a tremendous lesson to be learned from this readiness to depart which is very relevent to us today.I would like to propose, Bezrat Hashem, the following original thought to better understand what this lesson might be. It relates to what our attitude should be when we wish to better ourselves by "departing" from sin by doing "Tshuva"
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warning falling on deaf ears PDF Print E-mail
Torah Portion
Written by d fine   
The opening pasuk of our sedra seems a bit strange at first glance. It reads ‘and HaShem said to Moshe ‘come to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants in order to place my signs/wonders in his midst.’’ HaShem is giving Moshe a reason to come to Pharaoh and warn him about the next plague. Yet HaShem tells Moshe that Pharaoh’s heart has been hardened; isn’t this a reason not to warn Pharaoh - for he won’t listen anyway? The Sforno answers that this was precisely what HaShem was telling Moshe here. HaShem was forewarning Moshe that Pharaoh will not listen to his warning - but even so there is a point to warning him. How so? For at least others might heed the warning and repent. Moreover, the warning would make Bnei Yisrael recognise HaShem’s Might (that the plagues were exactly in-keeping with their warnings) and Mercy (in providing a warning to the Egyptians first).
 
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