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Verses: 105 [Siman: ימנה]
Haftorah: Jerimiah 46:13-28
|Number of Mitzvot:
There are a total of Twenty Mitzvot in Parashat 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 Pesach offering 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].
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.
- Plague of locust:
- G-d commands Moses to approach Pharaoh: G-d commanded Moses 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 children about the plagues that occurred in Egypt, and the miracles that I performed, and so you will know that I am G-d.”
- Moses warns Pharaoh of the upcoming plague: Moses 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. Moses 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 G-d, as do you not know that Egypt is in ruins?” Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron to return and said to them “Go serve your G-d. Who will be going?” Moses 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 G-d, as that is your request.” Pharaoh then had Moses and Aaron banished from his presence.
- The locust come attack Egypt: G-d told Moses 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. Moses did as he was instructed, and G-d 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 Moses and Aaron and told them that he has sinned against G-d 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.”
- Moses prays, and G-d ends the plague: Moses left Pharaoh’s presence and prayed to G-d. G-d 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: G-d hardened the heart of Pharaoh and he refused to let the people go.
- Plague of darkness:
- G-d tells Moses to perform the plague: G-d told Moses to stretch his hand towards the heavens, and there will be darkness in the land of Egypt.
- The plague: Moses 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.
- Pharaoh summons Moses: Pharaoh called Moses 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. Moses replied “Also you will give us animals as sacrifices, so we can offer them to G-d. Our cattle will leave with us to serve G-d, 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.” G-d hardened the heart of Pharaoh and he did not agree to send them. Pharaoh said to Moses “leave me, and you are warned not to ever step back here to see me lest you will be put to death.” Moses replied, “You speak words of truth, I shall never come to see you again.”
- G-d instructs Moses of the Plague of the Firstborns and the ensuing imminent exodus:
- G-d told Moses 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: G-d told Moses 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.
- G-d granted the nation favor in the eyes of the Egyptians, and so too Moses became very great in the eyes of Pharaoh and his servants.
- Moses warns Pharaoh of Plague of the Firstborns:
- [During the last meeting of Moses with Pharaoh] Moses told Pharaoh that G-d 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. Moses left Pharaoh’s presence in burning anger.
- G-d told Moses that Pharaoh would not listen to him in order so He can increase His wonders in the land of Egypt. Moses and Aaron performed all these miracles before Pharaoh, and G-d strengthened his heart and he did not let them go.
- The Jewish people are commanded their first set of Mitzvot:
- Sanctifying the New Moon: G-d told Moses 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 Matzot 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.
- G-d will see the blood and Passover the houses: G-d 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 G-d 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 Matzot must be guarded, and the Matzot 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.
- Labor: On the first and seventh day it shall be a calling of holiness, and you shall therefore not do any labor on that day with exception to food related matters.
- Moses instructs the Jewish people regarding the Pesach lamb and the upcoming plague:
- Moses 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. G-d 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 G-d smit the Egyptians and passed over the Jewish houses.
- The Jewish nation bowed and prostrated and they went to do that which G-d commanded through Moses and Aaron.
- The plague of Plague of the Firstborns:
- At midnight G-d 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 the children of Israel 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 Moses 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].
- The children of Israel 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 Matzot 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 Moses told them, and asked their neighbors for silver and gold vessels, as well as garments. G-d 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 Rameses 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 G-d left Egypt.
- Night of guarding: This night is a night of guarding for all the Jewish people for all generations.
- Laws of the Pesach offering:
- 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.
- Sanctifying the first born:
- G-d spoke to Moses 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 G-d 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.
- Moses instructs the Jewish people the Pesach laws and commands:
- Chametz and Matzah: Moses spoke to the Jewish people telling them of G-d’s commands not to eat Chametz during the seven days of Pesach and to celebrate the seventh day. To eat Matzot during the seven days, and not to see Chametz in one’s possession.
- Mitzvah of telling over the story of the Exodus: You shall tell your children on this day that it is on account of this that G-d took you out of Egypt.
- Mitzvah of Tefillin/Phylactery: The above is to be made a sign on your hand and a remembrance between your eyes, in order so the Torah of G-d remain on your mouths.
Verses: 116 [Siman: יד אמונה]
Haftorah: Judges 4:4-5:31
|Number of Mitzvot:
There is a total of One Mitzvah in Parashat Beshalach. One positive command and Zero negative commands.
1. Mitzvah 24/Negative 13: Not to leave the Techum/border on Shabbat.
- The children of Israel journey after leaving Egypt:
- The route: After Pharaoh sent the nation, G-d, rather than taking them through the land of the Philistines which was a shorter route, he took them the roundabout route through the desert of the Sea of Reeds. This is because G-d feared perhaps the people would turn back if taken by the short route.
- Arms: The Jewish people were armed when they left Egypt.
- Joseph’s bones: Moses took with him Joseph’s bones out of Egypt, as Joseph made the Jewish people swear to take them when they left.
- Journeying to Eisam: They traveled from Sukkot to Eisam, which was at the end of the desert.
- The clouds of glory: G-d went before the Jewish people in a pillar of cloud in order to guide them. At night He went before them in a pillar of fire, to shine for them the night, so they could travel by day and by night.
- Turning back to Pi Hachiros: G-d instructed Moses to turn back and encamp by Pi Hachiros which is between Migdal and the sea, opposite Baal Tzefon. “Pharaoh will then exclaim regarding the children of Israel that they have trapped themselves in the desert and I will harden his heart so he gives chase, and then Egypt will know that I am G-d.”
- The Jewish people did as they were instructed.
- Pharaoh chases after the children of Israel:
- Pharaoh was told that the Jewish people had fled, and he and his servants regretted having sent them out. He thus harnessed his chariot and took his people with him. He took six hundred select chariots, together with all of Egypt’s chariots to chase after the Jewish people.
- G-d hardened the heart of Pharaoh to chase after the children of Israel and meanwhile the Jewish people were going out with a raised hand.
- The children of Israel realize they are under attack by the Egyptian army:
- The Egyptians gave chase after the Jewish people and caught up with them by Pi Hachiros near the sea.
- The reaction of the Jewish people: The Jewish people looked up in fright seeing Pharaoh and his army coming in on them. The Jewish people cried out to G-d. They said to Moses “Were there not enough graves in Egypt for you to take us out to die in the desert? Why did you take us out of Egypt? Did we not already tell you that we would rather continue in slavery than to die in the desert?
- Moses’s response: Moses said to the nation: “Do not fear, stand fast and you will see the salvation of G-d that he will do for you today. You will never see Egypt again. G-d will fight for you and you shall remain silent.”
- The sea splits:
- G-d instructs Moses: G-d told Moses to stop crying at him, and that the Jewish people are to travel. Raise your staff over the sea and split it, and the Jewish people will enter the sea, on dry land. I will harden the heart of Egypt, so they continue to give you chase, and I will be glorified through their army, and Egypt will know that I am G-d.
- The clouds protect: The pillar of G-d which usually stood before the camp, then moved behind them between the nation and Egypt. The cloud caused darkness for Egypt but gave light to the Jewish people. The two camps did not meet the entire night.
- The sea splits: Moses raised his staff over the sea and G-d sent a strong east wind the entire night and He turned the sea to dry land, and the sea split. The Jewish people entered the sea and it became for them a wall on the right and left. The entire Egyptian army followed them into the sea in a chase.
- G-d causes the Egyptian army to enter into disarray: Towards morning, G-d looked down upon the Egyptian camp with a pillar of fire and cloud and He entered them into disarray. He caused the wheels of the wagons to fall off. The Egyptians exclaimed “We shall flee before the Jewish people, as their G-d is fighting for them.”
- The sea returns to normal course, annihilating the Egyptian army:
- G-d told Moses to stretch his staff over the sea, and its waters shall return, and drown the Egyptian army. Moses did as he was told, and sure enough towards morning the sea returned to its normal course, with the Egyptians fleeing towards it. G-d shook the Egyptians within the water. The water drowned the entire army, leaving not even one survivor.
- The Jewish people walked through the dry land within the sea and G-d saved them from the Egyptians. They saw the corpses of the Egyptian army on the sea shore. They saw the great hand of G-d over Egypt, and they feared G-d and believed in G-d and Moses His servant.
- The song of Az Yashir:
- Moses and the Jewish people then sang the song of Az Yashir to G-d, praising G-d for all that He has done. They said: “I will sing to G-d, for He is exalted. The horse and rider he plunged into the sea. G-d’s strength and power has been to me a salvation. This is my G-d and I will beautify Him, the G-d of my fathers and I will exalt Him. G-d is the master of war, G-d is His name. He cast Pharaoh’s chariots and army into the sea, and his best officers were drowned. The depths of the waters covered them, and they descended like stone. Your right-hand G-d is majestically powerful and crushes the enemy. You devastate your opponents, consuming them like straw with Your wrath. With the breath of Your nostrils you caused the water to pile up, and to stand like a wall. You froze water in the depths of the sea. The enemy stated that he will chase and overtake us and then distribute the plunder. You blew Your wind and the sea covered them. They sank like led. Who is like You G-d, among the powerful and holy. You are too awesome to praise, Doer of wonders. You stretch Your right hand and the earth would swallow them. With kindness you led this people to Your holy abode. People heard, and they trembled, the people of Philistia were struck with terror. The heads of the Edomites and Moabites were shocked and shivered. The inhabitants of Canaan melted. May they remain in fear until this nation passes through. You will bring the nation to Your dwelling place, to Your sanctuary. G-d will reign forever.”
- Miriam sings:
- Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the tambourine, and all the women followed her with tambourines and dancing. Miriam and the women also sang a song to G-d.
- The children of Israel travel to Marah and find no water to drink:
- Bitter water: Moses led the Jewish people in travel towards the desert of Shur. They traveled for three days and could find no water. They arrived at Marah, and could still not drink water, for the water that was there was bitter, thus lending it its name.
- Moses sweetens the water: The nation complained to Moses asking what they are to drink. Moses cried to G-d and G-d provided him with a stick which he threw into the water, and sure enough, the water became sweet.
- Laws are given: In that area Moses taught the Jewish people a number of laws. He told them that if they obey the commands of G-d, the illnesses of Egypt will never befall them.
- The travels of the children of Israel:
- Elim-Water and dates: They traveled to Elim and found there 12 springs of water and seventy date palm trees, and they encamped there.
- They left Elim and traveled to the desert of Sin. This occurred on the 15th of the second month of leaving Egypt [i.e. Iyar].
- The Heavenly bread-The Mun:
- The children of Israel complain in hunger: The entire Jewish people complained against Moses and Aaron, saying if only they would have died in the hands of G-d in Egypt, while enjoying pots of meat, and bread to satiation, then to die in the desert in starvation. They accused Moses of taking them out of Egypt to make everyone die of hunger.
- G-d promises Mun: G-d responded to Moses saying that he will rain bread from heaven, and the nation will gather bread each day for that day, and I will test them to see if they follow my laws. On Friday they will receive a double portion.
- Moses informs the nation: Moses and Aaron responded to the Jewish people that in the evening they will be given meat and see that G-d took them out of Egypt, and in the morning they will be given bread and see the glory of G-d who has heard their complaint. “What are we that you complain against us, it is against G-d you should complain.”
- The falling of the Mun: G-d spoke to Moses saying that He had heard the complaint of the Jewish people, and in the afternoon they will eat meat, while in the morning they will eat bread. So it was towards evening that the Slav pheasant bird ascended and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. The layer of dew then ascended and behold they saw on the face of the desert a thin item looking like frost on earth. The Jewish people looked at each other and exclaimed “It is Mun” as they did not know what to call it. Moses then told them that this is the food that G-d has provided them to eat.
- How much Mun each should take: G-d commanded that each person is take in accordance to what he eats, which is one Omer per person, in accordance to the number of members of one’s family. An Omer is 1/10th of an Eipha [2.49 liter]. The Jewish people did so, and some took too much, and some took too little. [Miraculously] whoever took more than necessary or less than necessary, found the exact amount in their possession.
- Not to leave leftover Mun: Moses instructed them not to leave any leftover Mun [that was taken] until morning. Some people did not listen to Moses and left over the Mun past morning, and it became infested with worms and stunk. Moses became angry with them. All the leftover Mun in the field which was not taken would melt in the sun.
- The Friday double Mun portion: On Friday they gathered a double portion, two Omers per head, and the community leaders came to Moses and informed him [of this anomaly]. Moses told them that this was done because the next day is Shabbat, and they must bake and cook today for today, and all the leftovers are to be eaten the next day. So they did, and indeed the next day the leftover Mun remained without spoiling.
- Keeping Shabbat: Moses informed them on Shabbat that the Mun will not fall that day, and they are to only collect it six days a week. Nonetheless, some individuals went to the field on Shabbat to take the Mun and they did not find it. G-d chastised Moses saying “Until when will you refuse my commands? I have given you the resting day of Shabbat and therefore provided you with a double portion on Friday. No man shall leave his area on the seventh day.” So the Jewish people rested on the seventh day
- Its taste and texture: The Jewish people called the food Mun, and it was like a coriander seed and had the taste of a wafer fried in honey.
- Safekeeping some of the Mun as a reminder: Moses stated that G-d commanded that an Omer of the Mun is to be kept for safekeeping for all generations, so they see the bread that G-d fed them in the desert when they left Egypt. Moses told Aaron to take a jar and place in it one Omer of Mun, and it was placed before G-d (before the Aron) for safekeeping for all generations.
- How long the Mun lasted: The Jewish people ate the Mun for 40 years, until they arrived at the border of the land of Canaan.
- No water:
- The nation traveled from the desert of Sin to Refidim, and they had no water to drink. They complained at Moses, demanding him to give them water and accusing him of taking them out of Egypt so they and their families and cattle can die of thirst in the desert. Moses replied back to the nation “What do you want from me? Why do you fight with G-d?” Moses then asked G-d what he can do with this nation, as they may stone him.
- Moses hits the rock: G-d instructed Moses to take with him some of the elders of Israel, and to take his staff, and hit the rock that He will be standing near. Once the rock is hit, water will stream out and the nation can drink. Moses did so in front of the elders of Israel. The area was named Maaseh U’Merivah due to the contention that took place and the challenge against G-d.
- War with Amalek:
- Amalek came and waged a war against the Jewish people in Refidim. Moses told Joshua to conscript an army and wage war with Amalek. Moses would stand on top of a hill with his staff in his hand.
- Moses raises his hands: Joshua did as told, and Moses, Aaron and Chur ascended the hill. Whenever Moses would raise his hands the Jewish people would gain the upper hand of the battle, and when his hands were lowered Amalek would gain the upper hand. Moses’s hands became heavy, and they thus took a stone and placed it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Chur supported his hand, one on each side. His hands remained up until the sun set.
- The result of the war: Joshua weakened Amalek with the sword.
- Obliterating Amalek: G-d told Moses to write this event in a book and tell it to Joshua. G-d promised to obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. Moses built an altar and called it G-d Nisi. Moses said that “There is a hand on the throne of G-d, G-d is at war with Amalek for all generations.”
 Listed by Rambam, Chinuch, Admur, however not by Ramban. See Chinuch ibid
 So is followed by Ashkenazi and Chabad communities. However, Sefaradi communities begin reading from 5:1
 Listed by Rambam, Chinuch, however is not considered a Biblical prohibition according to Ramban. See Chinuch ibid; Admur 396:1 for both opinions.