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Bo בא

January 26, 2023
By Aerin Atkins and Juliette Heckler

Bo means “come.” Hashem told Moses to come to Pharaoh. The Rabbis ask why he said “bo - come” instead of “lech - go.” The Rabbis answer that Hashem said “bo” the way a parent or teacher would say “come here” because they want to help you. The word “lech - go” would be more of a command. Hashem used the word “bo” to let Moses know that he is not alone and that He will be with him during this difficult time.  

In this Parasha , Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh to warn him to let Bnai Yisrael go. They told him that if he didn't listen, Hashem would punish him by bringing another plague. He refused, and as result, Hashem sent the plague of Locusts and the locusts began to eat all the plants and vegetation in Egypt. Pharaoh begged Moses to stop the plague, but after the plague stoped, Pharaoh again changed his mind.

The 9th plague was darkness. The Egyptians could not see, but Bnei Yisrael had light. The 10th plague was the death of the firstborn of Egypt. God instructed Bnei Yisrael to paint lamb’s blood on their doors so his angel would pass over their houses and this plague would not fall on them. This is how the holiday of Passover got its English name.  

When Moses first came to Pharaoh and said “Let My People Go,” Pharaoh made Bnai Yisrael work even harder. They were very angry at Moses for making their work harder, but we know that this was all a part of Hashem’s plan, and in the end, it turned out well because they became a free People.  

From this Parasha we learn that sometimes in life things that have a difficult start have a good ending. Rabbi Josh taught us that the rabbis have a saying for this - it’s called “ Kol hat'chalot kashot“ - which means “All beginnings are difficult.”

Two years ago, my parents wanted to send me to summer camp. I was very worried and did not want to go. In the beginning of camp I felt sad to be away from my family, and I had trouble making friends because I felt shy. After a few days, I decided I might as well reach out and try to make friends. Soon, everything was so fun and I was so happy, but I realized there were some other kids that still felt nervous. I remembered how kind some of the kids had been to me when I felt sad, so I was determined to make them feel included too! I made a decision to hang out with the kids who looked sad and make them happy too. Soon we all became friends.

In this Parasha and last week’s Parasha, Moses kept asking Pharaoh to free the People and Pharaoh kept saying no. Hashem sent terrible plagues, and Pharaoh still said no. Pharaoh refused to negotiate and was very stubborn. Most people would have stopped right then but Moses kept on persisting. Moses was determined to stick up for what was right because B'nai Israel was suffering. Moses knew that Hashem had his back and would be with him the whole time.

This relates to me because once during a soccer practice my friend was being picked on by some boys. This was wrong, but no one on my team spoke up because they didn't want the boys to make fun of them too. I didn't think this was right so I went to the boys and told them to stop because it wasn't right and told them never to be rude to people. They stopped being rude to my friend and stopped being rude to other people too. You should always stand up for what is right even if no one else does, because most people are afraid to stand up for what they believe in. It is important to always be the bigger person. If we have the courage to stand up and do the right thing, we know that Hashem will be with us just like He was with Moses.

Thank you and Shabbat Shalom!

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