The Portion of Bo

Jan 18, 2015

Photo credit: Yehoshua Halevi

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בֹּא אֶל־פַּרְעֹה כִּי־אֲנִי הִכְבַּדְתִּי אֶת־לִבּוֹ וְאֶת־לֵב עֲבָדָיו לְמַעַן שִׁתִי אֹתֹתַי אֵלֶּה בְּקִרְבּוֹ׃

Then Hashem said to Moshe, “Go to Pharaoh. For I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his courtiers, in order that I may display these My signs among them,

Exodus 10:1

וְהָיָה לְאוֹת עַל־יָדְכָה וּלְטוֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ כִּי בְּחֹזֶק יָד הוֹצִיאָנוּ יְהֹוָה מִמִּצְרָיִם׃

“And so it shall be as a sign upon your hand and as a symbol on your forehead that with a mighty hand Hashem freed us from Egypt.”

Exodus 13:16

The portion of Bo is packed with both action and laws. We learn of the last three plagues suffered by the Egyptians, as well as the eponymous Exodus itself. In addition, we are given the laws of Passover, both as they were observed that first time and as they are meant to be kept for future generations. The portion ends with other commandments given to preserve the memory of this destiny-shaping event throughout the year.

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