Parashat Bo 5784

By: Sara Schwartz

This weeks Parshat Bo explains how Moses was told by God to tell the Pharaoh that if he doesn’t let his people go, he will bring the 8th plague of locusts to swarm the land.

Pharaoh urged his staff to let the Hebrews go but Pharaoh would only let the men go and not the women and children. Moses then warned the Pharaoh of the coming locust plague. Soon God sent so many locusts that the land was black with them.

 Pharaoh then asked Moses to forgive him and ask God to remove the locust plague. Moses did ask God to remove the plague and God did but Pharaoh again refused to let the Jews go free.

Then came the darkness. For three days the Egyptians were plagued by complete darkness while the area where the Jews lived had plenty of light. For three days the Egyptians were plagued by complete darkness while the area where the Hebrews lived had plenty of light.

Pharaoh then told Moses that the Jews may leave but he forbid them to their animals. Moses said no, they must go with their animals.

Pharaoh said no and he told Moses to leave and the next time he saw his face Moses would die. Moses said he would never see him again.

Later God told Moses, the 10th plague will make the Pharaoh insist you leave. That night at midnight every Egyptian”s first-born will be killed. No Hebrew first-born shall die if they follow his word.

Make sure every Hebrew household has a lamb. These lambs are to be slaughtered as a community and then each family shall return to their home and place some lamb’s blood on each side of their doorposts. Then each family shall feast with roasted lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

After the death of the Egyptian firstborn, Pharaoh finally lets the Israelites go. In fact, he demands that they leave! Finally, the people have been set free, and are ready to journey to the Promised Land.

 In honor of my mother’s birthday today I want to tell you about the sections that talk about children and the duty of parents to educate them. As Jews we believe that to defend a country you need an army and the duty of parents is to educate our children. But to defend a society you need education. Unless parents share their memories and ideals to the next generation – the story of how they won their freedom and the battles they had to fight along the way they may lose our way.

One question in the Parsha that refers to a question in the Haggadah your child might have. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony of passover mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when He struck down the Egyptians.’

It is the duty of a parent to encourage his or her children to ask questions, and the child who does not yet know how to ask should be taught to ask. Encourage your children to ask, question, probe, and explore. I want to thank my mother for encouraging me to always ask questions! She always said no question in a dumb question!