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Bo – Rishon
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G-d told Moshe to accompany Him to see Pharaoh. When Moshe and Aharon arrived, they asked Pharaoh how long he intended to pursue his self-destructive path of stubbornness. The next plague, they told him, would be locusts. There was already a food shortage because of the hail; if Pharaoh persisted, a locust swarm would come […]
Bo – Sheini
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Clearly, Pharaoh’s offer was unacceptable because the locust swarm arrived as planned. The east wind blew in an unprecedented swarm that covered the land and ate every last leaf. Pharaoh sent for Moshe and Aharon, offering hasty apologies to them and to G-d. He begged them to remove the plague. Moshe left and prayed to […]
Bo – Shlishi
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Pharaoh called Moshe and Aharon. “Fine!” he yelled, “You can take the children with you. Just leave the flocks behind.” “No can do,” Moshe replied (loosely translated). “We’ll need them in order to offer sacrifices to G-d. We won’t know exactly what we’ll need until we get there, so we have to bring everything to […]
Bo – R’vi’i
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G-d sent word through Moshe to Pharaoh that around midnight, He would kill every first-born male in Egypt, from Pharaoh’s first-born to that of a lowly servant girl. Even the first-born animals would be affected by this plague. This will be an occasion of unprecedented mourning among the Egyptians, but the Jews won’t suffer so […]
Bo – Chamishi
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Moshe told the elders to have the people get their sacrifices ready. They were to use hyssop branches to paint the blood on their doorways. The people were to stay in their houses that night and not venture outside before morning. The holiday would be commemorated by future generations, after the Jews inherited the land […]
Bo – Shishi
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At midnight, G-d struck all the first-borns of Egypt, as He had said. Cries went up from all over the land, since there was a casualty in every household. Pharaoh sent for Moshe and Aharon; he told them to just take their people and go. The Egyptians were likewise urging the Jews to depart with […]
Bo – Sh’vi’i
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G-d told Moshe that every first-born of the Jews, whether man or animal, is dedicated to Him. (Clearly, this is in exchange for the fact that they were spared the effects of the tenth plague in Egypt. The first-born sons would have had the priestly duties that ended up going to the Tribe of Levi, […]
Bo – Haftarah
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The prophet Jeremiah gives a date for this week’s haftarah that puts it at just about the same time as in last week’s, although that one was by Ezekiel. Apparently, Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Egypt inspired both prophets, living hundreds of miles apart, Ezekiel in Bavel and Jeremiah still in Israel. That fact alone raises the […]
Vaeira – Rishon
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G-d appeared to Moshe and identified Himself by the Tetragrammaton (Y-H-V-H), which He said was a Name not made known to the Patriarchs. Of course, literally, the Forefathers knew and used this Name, as we see several places in Genesis. Rather, it means that the Patriarchs interacted with other aspects of G-d, as reflected by […]
Vaeira – Sheini
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At this point, the Chumash relates the families of the first three of the twelve Tribes of Israel. When it reaches the Tribe of Levi, the narrative goes into detail about the genealogy of Moshe and Aharon, whom G-d was sending to remove the Jews from Egypt.