Parshas Bo-Summary of the Parsha

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Parshas Bo

Pesukim: 105 [Siman: ימנה]

Haftorah: Yermiyahu 46:13-28

Number of Mitzvos:

There are a total of Twenty Mitzvos in Parshas Bo. Nine positive commands and eleven negative commands.

A. Positive commands:

1.      Mitzvah 4/Positive 3: To sanctify the new moon.

2.      Mitzvah 5/Positive 4: To slaughter the Pesach offering on the 14th of Nissan.

3.      Mitzvah 6/Positive 5: To eat the meat of the Korban Pesach on the night of the 15th.

4.      Mitzvah 9/Positive 6: To destroy Chametz on the 14th day of Nissan.

5.      Mitzvah 10/Positive 7: To eat Matzah the night of the 15th.

6.      Mitzvah 18/Positive 8: To sanctify the firstborn son and animal towards G-d.

7.      Mitzvah 21/Positive 9: To tell over the story of the exodus on the night of the 15th.

8.      Mitzvah 22/Positive 10: To redeem the firstborn male donkey.

9.      Mitzvah 23/Positive 11: To break the neck of the first-born donkey if it is not redeemed.

B. Negative commands:

1.      Mitzvah 7/Negative 2: Not to eat the Pesach lamb raw or cooked, but only roasted.

2.      Mitzvah 8/Negative 3: Not to leave leftovers of the Pesach lamb.

3.      Mitzvah 11/Negative 4: To not have Chametz found [i.e. own] throughout all seven days of Pesach.

4.      Mitzvah 12/Negative 5: Not to eat a food that contains Chametz [i.e. Taaruvos Chametz].[1]

5.      Mitzvah 13/Negative 6: Not to feed the meat of the Pesach sacrifice to a heretic Jew.

6.      Mitzvah 14/Negative 7: Not to feed the Pesach lamb to a gentile [even] if he is a Toshev Vesachir.

7.      Mitzvah 15/Negative 8: Not to remove the meat of the Pesach offering from the Chaburah [i.e. group of people that it is being eaten with].

8.      Mitzvah 16/Negative 9: Not to break a bone from the Pesach sacrifice.

9.      Mitzvah 17/Negative 10: That an Aral [i.e. uncircumcised Jew] not eat from the meat of the Pesach offering.

10.  Mitzvah 19/Negative 11: Not to eat Chametz on Pesach.

11.  Mitzvah 20/Negative 12: Not to see [i.e. own] Chametz all the seven days of Pesach.

Rishon

  1. Plague of locust:
    • Hashem commands Moshe to approach Pharaoh: Hashem commanded Moshe to approach Pharaoh, as He has made his heart, and the heart of his servants, stubborn, in order to publicize His miracles amongst them. “In order for the Jewish people to tell over to their chidren about the plagues that occurred in Egypt, and the miracles that I performed, and so you will know that I am G-d.”
    • Moshe warns Pharaoh of the upcoming plague: Moshe and Aaron approached Pharaoh and related to him “So said G-d, the G-d of the Jewish people: Until when will you refuse to answer my requests? Let my people go free so they can serve me. If you continue refusing to send my people, tomorrow I will bring locust into your country.” The locust will cover the earth until the point that the earth will not be seen. They will eat all the leftover produce that remained after the plague of hail. They will fill your homes and the homes of all Egyptians, as you have never seen before. Moshe and Aaron then left Pharaoh’s presence.
    • Pharaoh agrees to send out the Jewish people: The servants of Pharaoh said to him “Until when will this matter be a source of suffering for us. Send the people so they can serve Hashem, as do you not know that Egypt is in ruins?” Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aaron to return and said to them “Go serve your G-d. Who will be going?” Moshe replied, “We will leave with our lads, and elders, our sons and daughters, our sheep and cattle, as it is a festival for G-d.” Pharaoh replied to them “Let G-d be with you if I were to send you and your children, as I see evil coming towards you. This is not how it should be. The men shall go and serve Hashem, as that is your request.” Pharaoh then had Moshe and Aaron banished from his presence.

Sheiyni

  • The locust come attack Egypt: Hashem told Moshe to stretch his hand over the land of Egypt and He will bring a storm of locust over the land. They will consume all the vegetation of the land that was left over from the plague of hail. Moshe did as he was instructed, and Hashem brought an eastern wind over Egypt which blew throughout that day and night. In the morning, the eastern wind carried the locust into Egypt and they swarmed the entire country like Egypt has never seen before and will never see again. They covered the land and the sky to the point that they darkened the land [preventing sunlight from passing]. They ate all the vegetation of the earth and all the fruits of the trees, to the point that no fruit or vegetation was left in the entire land of Egypt.
  • Pharaoh shows remorse: Pharaoh hurried to call Moshe and Aaron and told them that he has sinned against Hashem their G-d and against them. “Please forgive me for my sins one more time, and pray for me to your G-d, so that He should remove this death.”
  • Moshe prays, and Hashem ends the plague: Moshe left Pharaoh’s presence and prayed to Hashem. Hashem sent a very strong western wind that carried the locust swarm and dumped them into the river. Not one locust remained in Egypt.
  • Pharaoh refuses to let them go: Hashem hardened the heart of Pharaoh and he refused to let the people go.

  

  1. Plague of darkness:
    • Hashem tells Moshe to perform the plague: Hashem told Moshe to stretch his hand towards the heavens, and there will be darkness in the land of Egypt.
  • The plague: Moshe did so, and the entire land of Egypt fell under complete darkness for three days. No man saw his friend, and no one could move from his place during the duration of those three days. However, the Jewish people had light in all their settlements.

 

Shelishi

  • Pharaoh summons Moshe: Pharaoh called Moshe and told him that the nation, including the children, could leave to serve G-d, on condition that they leave their cattle and flock in Egypt. Moshe replied “Also you will give us animals as sacrifices so we can offer them to Hashem. Our cattle will leave with us to serve Hashem, and we will not leave even one hoof in Egypt, as we do not know how we will need to serve Him until our arrival.” Hashem hardened the heart of Pharaoh and he did not agree to send them. Pharaoh said to Moshe “leave me, and you are warned not to ever step back here to see me lest you will be put to death.” Moshe replied, “You speak words of truth, I shall never come to see you again.”

 

  1. Hashem instructs Moshe of Makas Bechoros and the ensuing imminent exodus:
  • Hashem told Moshe that He will bring one last plague to Pharaoh and Egypt, and Pharaoh will then capitulate completely and let you go and even force you out of Egypt.
  • Leaving with wealth: Hashem told Moshe that he should speak to the Jewish people and inform them [of the imminent exodus and] that each person should request from their [Egyptian] neighbor gold and silver vessels.
  • Hashem granted the nation favor in the eyes of the Egyptians, and so too Moshe became very great in the eyes of Pharaoh and his servants.

Revi’i

  1. Moshe warns Pharaoh of Makas Bechoros:
  • [During the last meeting of Moshe with Pharaoh] Moshe told Pharaoh that Hashem said that at approximately midnight He will go amidst Egypt and smite every first born in the land of Egypt to death, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who is the prince until the firstborn of the slave woman, as well as all firstborn animals. There will be a great outcry in the entire land of Egypt, of which the liking there never was and will never be seen again. However, the Jewish people will remain safe and a dog will not bark against man or animal, so that you see that I have distinguished between the Jewish people and Egypt. Your servants will then all come down and bow to me asking us to leave, and afterwards we shall leave. Moshe left Pharaoh’s presence in burning anger.
  • Hashem told Moshe that Pharaoh would not listen to him in order so He can increase His wonders in the land of Egypt. Moshe and Aaron performed all these miracles before Pharaoh, and Hashem strengthened his heart and he did not let them go.

 

  1. The Jewish people are commanded their first set of Mitzvos:
  • Kiddush Hachodesh: Hashem told Moshe and Aaron to tell the Jewish people that this month is to be for them the first of the months of the year.
  • The Pesach lamb: Tell all the Jewish people, that on the 10th of the month they are to take for themselves a lamb/kid, having one lamb/kid per household. If the family is too small to consume an entire lamb/kid, then they should join with another family, counting each person in proportion to the amount he eats. The lamb/kid must be male, within its first year, and unblemished, and it may be taken either from the sheep or goats. The lamb/kid is to be guarded by you until the 14th day, and on the 14th day it is then to be slaughtered in the afternoon by all of the Jewish people.
  • Placing the blood by the doorposts: They shall take from the blood [of the sacrifice] and place it by both doorposts, and on the lintel of the doorposts, of the door of the house that they will be eating the sacrifice in.
  • Roasting and eating the lamb: The Pesach lamb/kid is to be eaten that night. It is to be roasted and eaten with Matzos and bitter herbs. It may not be eaten raw, or cooked in water, but rather must be roasted over fire. It is to be roasted in full, its head with its legs and its innards. Its meat may not remain past morning, and whatever does remain must be burnt in the fire. It shall be eaten in a haste, with your loins girded and your shoes on your feet.
  • Hashem will see the blood and Passover the houses: Hashem said: I will pass through Egypt that night and smite all the firstborn Egyptians, from man to animal, including the deities of Egypt. The blood on the doorpost shall serve as a sign that you are there, and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and you shall not be smitten while I strike Egypt.
  • Celebrating Pesach: This day shall be for you as a remembrance, and you shall celebrate it as a festival for Hashem for all generations.
  • Chametz and Matzah: You shall eat Matzah for seven days, although on the first day you shall eliminate Chametz from your homes. Whoever eats Chametz between the first and seventh day, his soul will be cut off from the Jewish people. The Matzos must be guarded, and the Matzos are to be eaten from the evening after the 14th day until the 21st day of the month. For seven days, Chametz may not be found in your homes.
  • Melacha: On the first and seventh day it shall be a calling of holiness, and you shall therefore not do any Melacha on that day with exception to food related matters.

 

Chamishi

  1. Moshe instructs the Jewish people regarding the Pesach lamb and the upcoming plague:
  • Moshe summoned all the elders of Israel and instructed them: Each family should take for themselves one of the flock, and slaughter it as a Pesach offering. You shall take a bundle of hyssop and dip it into the blood that is in the basin, and touch with it the lintel and the two doorposts.
  • Not to leave home: No man may leave his house until the morning. Hashem will pass through Egypt and smite it, and when he sees the blood on your doorposts, the blood will prevent the plague from entering your home.
  • You shall guard the above [Pesach sacrifice] as a statute for all generations. When you arrive to the promised land and you follow these laws, your children will ask you why it [i.e. the Pesach sacrifice] is done, and you shall inform them that it is in commemoration of the fact that Hashem smit the Egyptians and passed over the Jewish houses.
  • The Jewish nation bowed and prostrated and they went to do that which Hashem commanded through Moshe and Aaron.

Shishi

  1. The plague of Makas Bechoros:
  • At midnight Hashem smote every first born in the land of Egypt to death, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who is the prince until the firstborn of the imprisoned captive, as well as all firstborn animals.
  • Pharaoh asks Bnei Yisrael to leave Egypt: Pharaoh and all his servants arose that night, as there was a great cry in Egypt. There was no house without a corpse. Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aaron that night and told them to rise and leave his people. Everyone shall leave and go serve your G-d as you requested. Take your flock and cattle as you asked, and leave, but bless me as well [that I not die].

 

  1. Bnei Yisrael leave Egypt:
  • The dough did not have time to rise: The Egyptian nation urged the Jewish people to leave right away, as they said that they were all dying. The nation took its dough prior to it being able to rise and placed it on a sack on their shoulders. They later baked it, after leaving Egypt, into Matzos and not Chametz, as they were driven out of Egypt in a hurry. They did not bring with them other food.
  • Egypt is emptied of its wealth: The Jewish people did as Moshe told them, and asked their neighbors for silver and gold vessels, as well as garments. Hashem granted the nation favor in the eyes of the Egyptians and they lent them the above. So it was that the Jewish people emptied Egypt [of money].
  • The first journey: The Jewish people traveled from Ramseis to Sukkot.
  • Who left: They were 600,000 men, aside for the children. They went with a great multitude [of Egyptian converts]. They left with a very heavy amount of flock and cattle.
  • Amount of years in Egypt: The Jewish people dwelled in Egypt [and their previous areas of foreign land] for 430 years, and at the end of 430 years, on the essence of this day all the legions of Hashem left Egypt.
  • Leil Shimurim: This night is a night of guarding for all the Jewish people for all generations.

  1. Laws of the Karban Pesach:
  • The following are the laws of the Pesach sacrifice: No gentile may eat it. A slave must be circumcised prior to eating it. It shall be eaten in one’s home. One may not remove its meat from the home, and one may not break any of its bones. A convert must be circumcised prior to eating from it. Anyone who is not circumcised may not eat from it.

 

Shevi’i

  1. Sanctifying the first born:
  • Hashem spoke to Moshe asking him to command the Jewish people: Every male firstborn of the womb of a person or animal is to be sanctified to me. The firstborn male is to be redeemed.
  • Firstborn donkey: Every firstborn donkey is to be redeemed with a lamb or kid, and if not then one is to break its neck.
  • If your children ask what this [Mitzvah] is [about], then you shall tell him that Hashem took us out from slavery with a strong hand, and he killed the Egyptian firstborns, and therefore I sacrifice to G-d my firstborn male animals, and redeem my firstborn sons.

  1. Moshe instructs the Jewish people the Pesach laws and commands:
  • Chametz and Matzah: Moshe spoke to the Jewish people telling them of Hashem’s commands not to eat Chametz during the seven days of Pesach and to celebrate the seventh day. To eat Matzos during the seven days, and not to see Chametz in one’s possession.
  • Mitzvah of Vehegadeta LeBincha: You shall tell your children on this day that it is on account of this that Hashem took you out of Egypt.
  • Mitzvah of Tefillin: The above is to be made a sign on your hand and a remembrance between your eyes, in order so the Torah of Hashem remain on your mouths.

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[1] Listed by Rambam, Chinuch, Admur, however not by Ramban. See Chinuch ibid

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