In last week’s Parasha Va'era, we read of the first seven calamities (makot) that God inflicted upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. This week in Parasha Bo, God sends the most devastating and final three plagues: locust, darkness and death of the firstborn. After the final plague, Pharaoh finally acquiesces, triggering the Exodus of the Hebrews. But what were the purposes of the Ten Plagues? To pressure Pharaoh to let the Israelites go free? Perhaps, but God is fully capable of setting His people free without a king’s permission. He is committed to communicating something vital to them: "I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD." - Exodus 12:12 - Haleluyah !
What Does It Mean to Choose Life? Every decision you make can be made in a way that you are “choosing life.” The Torah is God’s constitution; it is His teaching and instruction; it is eternal and it is life. His Spirit is pure Light, abundant with untouchable, supreme, sovereign power. God is the Source of all life.
בֹּא Bo means “come.” In this portion, we read of the final three plagues that came upon the Egyptians, which led to the Children of Israel’s departure from Egypt. Before the final plague, the Death of the Firstborn, Moses gave the Children of Israel instructions regarding the first Passover offering: They were to bring a sheep into their dwellings, keep it there for four days, slaughter it, and eat its flesh. They were also instructed to mark their doorposts with its blood so that the Angel of Death would not kill their firstborn during the tenth plague. This took a lot more courage than one might imagine. Why? Because sheep were worshipped by the Egyptians. It was one of their gods. Killing an Egyptian deity could have gotten the Children of Israel killed. However, it was a vital step in their path to freedom. https://stbm.org/bo/
Todah Rabah - beloved Ted Belman writing from Jerusalem, Israel for 21+ years ... THERE IS NO DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION https://www.israpundit.org/ Israel should declare three nos; no to nuclear Iran, no to two-state solution, no to bi-national state
**************************************** Welcome to Kashrut Malchut Shamayim In this week’s parsha Bo, we witness the final three plagues against Egypt. The plague of locusts decimates the land, followed by darkness and the death of the firstborn and our exodus from Egypt. Before we move on this week let's eat like the Egyptians. https://jamiegeller.com/holidays/egyptian-shabbat-menu/ Egyptian Shabbat Menu
All four of my grandparents were survivors. 1 in 3 of Israel’s 160,000 Holocaust survivors struggle with hunger on a day to day basis. https://donate.meirpanim.org/
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go [Bo / come] to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them.’” (Exodus 10:1)
Moses and Aaron with Pharaoh, by Marc Chagall
In last week’s Parasha, we read of the first seven calamities (makot) that God inflicted upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery.
This week in Parasha Bo, God sends the most devastating and final three plagues: locust, darkness and death of the firstborn.
After the final plague, Pharaoh finally acquiesces, triggering the Exodus of the Hebrews.
But what were the purposes of the Ten Plagues? To pressure Pharaoh to let the Israelites go free? Perhaps, but God is fully capable of setting His people free without a king’s permission.
We see in this Parasha and last week's that God does not see the Egyptians simply as an enemy to be overcome; rather, He is committed to communicating something vital to them:
"I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD." (Exodus 12:12)
A 13-year-old Jewish boy gets a little help carrying the Torah scroll. The average weight of a Torah scroll is 20 to 25 pounds, not including the protective case called a Torah tik.
The plagues demonstrate God’s supremacy over and judgment on all the false gods of Egypt.
When Moses first asked Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, he responded, ”Who is YHVH, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?” (Exodus 5:2)
The God of Israel wants everyone to know who He is. And He wanted to make sure that Pharaoh and all of Egypt knew Him, too.
He even told Pharaoh that He was sending the powerful plague of hail, “so that you [Pharaoh] may know that there is none like Me in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:14)
Pharaoh Notes the Importance of the Jewish People, by James Tissot
In the end, Pharaoh did come to realize the power of the God of Israel.
But God was not only concerned about the beliefs of the Egyptians. The Torah indicates that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to demonstrate His power to all the nations as well as the powerlessness of their false gods.
God does not want to be known only to this one nation of Israel, either. He wants His name to be proclaimed in every nation on earth:
“For this purpose I have raised you [Pharaoh] up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." (Exodus 9:16)
And God certainly did make Himself known to Pharaoh through the final three plagues.
An Orthodox Jewish man prays at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.
The Eighth Plague: Locusts (Arbeh אַרְבֶּה)
“If you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. And they shall cover the face of the earth, so that no one will be able to see the earth; and they shall eat the residue of what is left, which remains to you from the hail, and they shall eat every tree which grows up for you out of the field.” (Exodus 10:4–5)
Parasha Bo begins with the eighth plague upon Egypt—locusts. They devoured all the crops and vegetation of Egypt that remained after the hail.
Even though locusts are driven by the wind, a plague of locusts is so devastating that it cuts off the light of the sun and wipes out the food supply of the affected area.
In the Book of Joel, this plague makes another appearance, ravaging the land. The Prophet Joel links it to sin and the Last Days, exhorting Israel to repent and return to the Lord.
God promises Israel that He will make up for all the years that the swarming locusts have devoured:
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten — the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — My great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will My people be shamed.” (Joel 2:25–26)
Swarm of locusts in Madagascar
Locusts are also mentioned in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) as one of the end-time plagues upon the earth.
With the sounding of the fifth shofar in the Last Days, locusts emerge from the bottomless pit.
They will not harm the vegetation, but they will have the power to sting like a scorpion and torment men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
“Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” (Revelation 9:3–4)
In the ninth plague, God revealed to the Egyptians that their sun god Ra was nothing but stone and that the God of Israel is the One True God.
The Ninth Plague: Darkness (Hosek חוֹשֶך)
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt — darkness that can be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days.” (Exodus 10:21–23)
With the ninth plague of darkness, Adonai delivered a crushing blow to the worship of the Egyptian sun god, Ra, demonstrating the folly of believing in idols and mythical deities.
Although the Egyptians were plunged into total darkness, the Israelites enjoyed light in their dwellings in the land of Goshen.
While everyone outside the shelter of God’s covenant live in ever deepening darkness, especially as the end of the age approaches, the light of Believers in Yeshua shines ever more brightly. (Proverbs 4:18)
Today, there are so many reports of evil, and many are fearful of what may come upon us. Nevertheless, even when there is total, paralyzing darkness in the world, we can still have light in our dwellings, just as the Israelites had in Goshen.
It is time for us to stop cursing the darkness and, instead, start living in the light.
Instead of complaining, murmuring and fault finding over the