Parshat Bo – January 23, 2021 – 10 Shvat 5781

Parshat Bo

  • Exodus 10:1-13:16, Stone Chumash, p. 340
  • Number of verses: 105
  • Haftorah: Jeremiah Ch. 46 p. 1151 “Hagidu BiMitzraim”

Important Shabbat Times

  • Candle lighting: 5:01p
  • Sunrise: 7:09:54am
  • Latest Shema: 9:43am
  • Earliest Mincha: 12:41pm
  • Havdalah: 6:02pm
  • Zoom Community Havdalah: 6:20pm

Thoughts on the Parsha

Our Parshah continues from last week. G-d tells Moshe to tell Pharaoh that if he refuses to free Israel, He will bring locusts upon the Land, which will devour the remaining crops of Egypt. Moshe tells Pharaoh, and Pharaoh still wishes to negotiate. “How many do you require to leave Egypt?” he asks. Moshe responds “From young to old, even our animals, for it is a celebration for us unto G-d!” The plagues continue with the descent of darkness upon the land. G-d tells Moshe that He intends one more plague to cast upon the Egyptians before he sets His people free, but first He gives the people a new calendar, and a new Mitzvah – The mitzvah of Korban Pesach, the Paschal Lamb: “and it came to pass that at midnight, G-d smote the firstborn sons of all the Egyptians…” G-d gives the people the mitzvah of Passover, the redemption of the first born son’s, the redemption of first born donkeys, as well as the Mitzvah of Tefillin.

Mitzvah of the Week

There is a mitzvah to wear Tefillin every day. The boxes of the Tefillin contain the four Parsha’s (paragraphs) of the Torah which contain the mitzvah of wearing Tefillin. Two of these paragraphs are found in today’s Parsha. The other two are found in Deuteronomy, in the Shema, and “ViHaya im shamoa.” (The first two paragraphs of the Shema). These paragraphs and the 42 Names of G-d which they contain, are physically placed on our left arms, (symbolizing our hearts) and the center of our heads, and is a testimony  of G-d’s omnipresence, and our allegiance to Him. Failure to wear Tefillin, for even one day, is considered a grievous sin, but whoever wears the Tefillin each and every day is blessed with a long life.

This mitzvah applies at all times to men, and only pertains to weekdays, not Shabbat nor the major festivals. The reason for this is that Tefillin is called an “Ot” or symbol. Shabbat (as well as Yom Tov)  is also called a symbol in its own right, “Ot Hi L’Olam,” and therefore wearing Tefillin on those days would take away from their unique and special character.