Divrei HaRav

Bo /בא

Bo /בא
The possuk concerning Tefilin states “in order that the Torah of HaShem should be on your lips”. The Chofetz Chaim points out that although the Gemora describes the one who does not put on Tefilin as a person lacking basic beliefs, and not really one who subscribes to Jewish philosophy, still the Tefilin themselves are only a preparation for the main theme of the life of a Jew – the Torah. He describes Torah as the lifeline of the Jew, and without it the Jew cannot exist. We have seen that the demise of religious Judaism as the ultimate disappearance of many families from the Jewish scene is directly related to the study of and adherence to the Torah.

“You should watch the matzos”. Rashi quotes two interpretations. One is to guard the matzo from becoming chometz. The second is to guard all mitzvos from becoming stale, that is to say, perform the mitzva immediately. The “Shaloh” explains that it is not two “droshos”. The matzo represents the yetzer hatov and the chometz, the yetzer harah. The difference in the spelling of the two words is the letter “heh” which has an opening (as Chazal say, for the Baal Tshuva to re-enter) and it becomes closed up in the “ches” of chometz. The Torah is not just warning us of the singular mitzvah, but a lesson in mitzvos in general. Listen to the yetzer tov, don’t look for the easier way out.

The importance of Bris Milah is emphasized by the fact that the precious mitzvah of Korbon Pesach cannot be performed by one who is uncircumcised. Also the mitzvah given to the Jews to merit the Geula was milah. And the first mitzvah of Yehoshua was milah. What is the significance of Milah? The Shulchan Aruch directs us to set a place for Eliyahu Hanavi. The source is a Pirke D’R’ Eliezer which recounts the fact that upon the split of the Kingdoms of Israel, the Malchei Yisroel forbid milah. Eliyahu championed the cause by declaring a drought. When Jezebel wanted to kill him, he fled. HaShem said to him “this is the second time you have displayed zealousness on my behalf. I promise you that at every bris the Jews make, you will be present.” So we see that milah itself is measure for measure an act of zealousness and “msiras nefesh”, the act of shedding ones “blood” for the sake of adhering to His ways. This, then, is how we initiate the child into his role as an observant Jew.

Take the blood and place it on the two מזוזת. The word is spelled without the second ו'. However, concerning the מצוה of mezuza it is spelled with a ו'. R’Chaim שליט'ה explains this with Rashi in כי תשא Rashi says a word without the ו' means both items are equal. Therefore - here the מצוה was equal on both doorposts and is written מזוזת. However, the mitzva of מזוזה is only on the right post so it is written complete with a ו'.

כי כל אוכל חמץ ונברתה הנפש ההיא מישראל
The very strict laws surrounding chometz are a result of two factors: 1) a person is not separated from chometz all year round 2) the punishment of eating chometz is כרת. This then is the explanation of the possuk. Remove the chometz from your domain because - 1. כל אוכל חמץ 2. ונברת הנפש. “מעינה של תורה”

You will tell your children and your children’s children the greatness of HaShem in Egypt and you will know I am HaShem. The possuk tells us that if one tells and retells the story of the Exodus with all its details, the person who tells will benefit and his own faith and belief will improve. “מעינה של תורה”

So you shall eat the Pesach offering, with your shoes on and ready to go. The מהרי'ל דיסקין points out that the smiting of the firstborn was carried out by HaShem himself as we say לא ע"י שליח. Also we say in the הגדה that there was a revelation of HaShem גלוי שכינה. The gemora and medrash point out that wherever there is גלוי שכינה it is forbidden to wear shoes. Nevertheless, in order to display their full faith in the imminent redemption, HaShem commanded them to wear their shoes.

Paroh asked Moshe, “who are the ones that will go with you”? Moshe answered, “the old and the young will go to serve G-d”. Paroh refused - why? The world’s concept of a servant to G-d is an older, mature adult. Moshe introduced to him the Jewish approach which enlists even the children in the performance of a mitzvah. How fitting then, that the resulting mitzvah of yitzias mitzraim, which is the eating of the Pesach offering is incumbent on all members of the household both yound and old as Rashi comments later, “all who are capable of eating are eligible”.



Previous Parshos

Tazria Metzora Achrei Mos Kedoshim Emor Behar Bechukosai Bamidbar Shavuos Naso Behalosicha Shilach Korach Chukas-Balak Pinchos Matos-Masei Devorim Voeschonon Ekev Reah Shoftim Ki Seitzei Ki Savo Nitzovim - Vayelech Rosh HaShana Haazinu-Yom Kippur Sukkos V'zos HaBrocha Breishis