Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parashat Bo

Rabbi Raymond Beyda

Always on the Job

“Remember this day that you left from Egypt” [Shemot 13:3]

The culmination of the plagues with which Hashem devastated the land and the economy of Egypt took place on the 15th of the month of Nissan. Hashem commanded His people to remember this day. In his work, “Shem Olam” the Hafetz Haim explains why it is so important that we not only remember the events of the Exodus but also keep the date of those miraculous events on our minds.

The Gemara explains that Hashem appointed a force called a “mazal” for everything in creation. Our sages say, “There is no blade of grass below that does not have a Mazal above.” Even so, warns the Hafetz Haim, one should not mistakenly believe that G-d has turned over the power and the control to the mazal; there is no power other than G-d and there is no will other than His. All forces are merely messengers of G-d created to do His bidding and should He decide that the “natural” functioning of a creation would not serve His purposes ­then He will change nature to bring about His desired results.

The Egyptians worshipped the mazal of the sheep or ram. The power of that sign --Aries -- is at its peak every year in Nissan and the height of its potency is on the 15th day of the lunar cycle, when the moon is full -- at midnight. What did Hashem do in order to show that He alone is the power that controls all creation? He struck down the firstborn of the people of Egypt at the time when the power that they worshipped was at its peak -- the 15th at midnight. Therefore the verse reads “remember THIS day…” that even though it is the day for their god to have the most influence possible ­on that day specifically ­ Hashem hit with His fury to bring them to submission. Remembering the DATE of the Exodus is an enhancement of our appreciation of the power of Hashem and His demonstration of love for us. Shabbat Shalom.

TABLE TALK ­Question from the Parasha
Why did Hashem command Moshe to instruct the Jewish people to borrow valuable jewelry and expensive clothing from the Egyptians? It would all come into Jewish possession after the splitting of the sea and the drowning of the Egyptians in any event.

Answer 1: If the Jews did not leave with the valuables then the Egyptians might not pursue them and the miracle at the sea would not take place as planned. This ploy brought about the spoils recovered at the sea. [Maor Va- Shemesh]

Answer 2: Since the Jews had run off with the possessions of the Egyptians they would be reluctant to return to Egypt out of fear of reprisals by their creditors. [Otsar Haim]

DID YOU KNOW THAT Squeezing fruit in order to extract the juice is in general forbidden both on Shabbat and Yom Tob. No fruit may be squeezed into an empty vessel or into a liquid, regardless of whether it is squeezed by hand or with an instrument. [E.g. squeezing lemons, oranges, or the juice out of shredded carrots or chopping fruit to such an extent that it becomes liquefied]. On the other hand a lemon may be sliced and put into a drink, such as tea or cold water, even though some of the juice may come out by itself. It is permissible to squeeze fruit --by hand-- onto non-liquid food on Shabbat and Yom Tob if the food will absorb most of the juice OR if the juice will enhance the flavor of the food. [Source Shemirat Shabbat K’Hilkheta, Chapter 5; 1-3]

Text Copyright © 2004 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and



View Complete List

Concentric Circles:Contrasting Worlds
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Success is a Lifelong Effort
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

The Heavenly Truth and the Earthly Truth
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Nature of Human Behavior
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

The Secrets of Creation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Opposites Attract
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760


Spreading the Fate
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

In The Beginning
Shlomo Katz - 5763

A Springtime of the Spirit
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Great Expectations
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

May I Have This Dance?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

Simchas Torah : My Son, The Stranger
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

> Learn to Love from the LULOV!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Beauty Defined
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Just Desserts
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

The Buck Stops Here
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information