Thoughts on The Torah: Parsha Bo (Go)


by Rabbi Michael Calise

This weeks parsha is found in Shemot (Exodus) 10:1–13:16. The parsha culminates in the Passover and the Judgement of G-d against the false gods of the Egyptians.

G-d tells B’nai Israel that the Passover is to be celebrated throughout their generations. This is a reminder of not only the power and glory of G-d but also of the weakness and frailty of His people.

“And you shall relate to your son on that day, saying: This is done because of that which G-d did to me when I came out of Egypt.” (13:8)

“In every generation, a person is obligated to see himself as if he himself came out of Egypt; as it is written: “… This is done because of that which G-d did to me when I came out of Egypt.” (Talmud, Pesachim 116b)

Our sages explain that the children of Israel had become so entrenched in the paganism and depravity of Egypt, that the Exodus came at the very last possible moment, as they approached the very brink of total indistinguishability from the Egyptians. Had they remained slaves in Egypt a moment longer, there would have been no “children of Israel” to redeem.

This is a lesson for each of us to consider and not only at Passover. Are we, as the people of G-d, living our lives in such a way that we are easily distinguishable from the ungodly world around us? Or are we, like B’nai Israel, being lured into a culture and lifestyle that offends G-d and causes us to look to other things in order to get through life.

The Brit Chadasha in the letter to the Messianic Community in Corinth says:

“Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”  “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor 6:17-18)

Egypt is a symbol of the enslavement and brutality of sin and it’s effects on our lives. We, as the people of G-d, would do well to heed the admonition of the word Bo (Go) and leave sin and its snares far behind us and shine the light of Messiah in holiness and godliness.

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