SEDRA - RABBI ARNOLD SAUNDERS

Bo

THIS week’s sedra, Bo, discusses the last three of the 10 plagues and the exodus from Egypt.

The eighth plague was locusts. The entire land of Egypt, apart from the Jewish “ghetto” in Goshen, was enveloped by a swarm of locusts, which ravished all remaining vegetation that had not been destroyed by the hailstones.

Next came the plague of darkness. Even during the day, Egyptians were unable to see, as the country was shrouded in darkness. Once again, the Jews were unaffected and could see even in the same room as an Egyptian who could not!

Before the final plague, the Almighty instructs Moses and Aaron to tell the people to prepare for the exodus.

They were to take a lamb and slaughter it on the afternoon of the 14th of Nissan.

The blood was to be smeared over the doorposts and lintels of their houses.

The lamb had to be roasted and eaten at night together with matzo and bitter herbs.

Everyone had to be ready to leave straight away, with their shoes on and their sticks in their hands.

As with Brexit, the slaying of the first-born was scheduled to take place at precisely midnight — after which the exodus would occur.

This indeed happened to the second. The Almighty, however, “passed over” all the Jewish houses, which displayed the sacrificial blood on their doorposts.

Pharaoh now came to Moses and told him to take the Children of Israel out of Egypt.

They left the next morning — the 15th of Nissan.

The Almighty declares that, in future, the exodus would be celebrated by observing a festival — Passover — and by partaking of the seder at night.

The final portion of the sedra details the mitzvot of tefillin and the “redemption of the first-born”.

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