Parshah Thoughts and Questions – Bo


I have had very little time to read about the weekly parshah but I have read an aliyah every evening.

It is a violent portion for our contemporary minds. The plagues get worse and worse until the ultimate one: the death of the first-born – even if we understand that Pharoah needs to be coerced into letting the Hebrews go. Somehow it is not as shocking on screen in The Ten Commandments as when it is read in the comfort of one’s home.Similarly when we read the Haggadah at Pesach it doesn’t quite seem so brutal as it is balanced by the ritual of split drops of wine to remind us that our rejoicing cannot perfect since the Egyptians suffered in the process of our liberation.

This is the questions that came to mind as I was reading. To be honest I have no idea what the answers are but some of you may.

– I wonder why the alyot at the beginning of this parshah are very short but get longer as we proceed.

– Another question I have in mind is why we read about the Pesach rituals approximately two weeks before Pesach.


7 thoughts on “Parshah Thoughts and Questions – Bo

  1. So your questions are:
    1) violence (ah, but so much of Tanach is violent. Read Shoftim, for example). Not sure if my family will help you with that one.

    2) aliyot getting longer – there’s a good question for me to pose to my family

    3) “why we read about the Pesach rituals approximately two weeks before Pesach” – why not?

      • Asked my husband right before he left for work – he said aliyot are shorter and then get longer. Another example is lech lecha. He said the aliyot were set long ago – we weren’t sure when.

        Regarding 3), wouldn’t that be around Rosh Chodesh Nisan so a fitting time to read about Pesach and learn how to bring the karban Pesach?

  2. Such good questions. I cannot wait to hear everyone’s answers.

    You mentioned that the Egyptians suffered in our process of liberation. I was just reading recently that the angels were rejoicing when the Egyptians were killed when the Israelites were crossing the Red Sea. Hashem admonished them and said that they are all His children.

  3. Your questions are both good ones, and I have no answers for you.

    Suffering and violence are themes that run through the Jewish community, a timeless themes, it seems.

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