Parsha Bo.
By Moshe Burt
(Former Arutz-7 link;

This week, I needed to get an early start in preparing a D'var Torah as I am spending Shabbat in Beit Shemesh at a friend's son's Bar Mitzvah and Bar Mitzvah Seudah Melave Malka. Therefore, I will encorporate points from Rabbi Wagonsberg's Shiur as well as my own points in the D'var Torah. 

Parsha Bo tells of the last three Makot -- Locusts, Darkness and and the Slaying of the First-born, the Korban Pesach, the da'am on the doorpost of each Jewish home, the Yetzi'at Mitzrayim and the first Mitzvah Commanded to B'nai Yisrael -- Kiddush HaChodesh, The Sanctification of New Moon.. 

There was a crazy song which played on the radio many years ago which I found appropo to our Parsha and which I parodied and titled as follows; "Does Your Korban Pesach Lose It's Flavor Tied To The Bedpost Overnight?" (Originally, "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight?")

I want to comment on the common attribute of the Makot of Locusts, darkness and Bechorot, the Korban Pesach and the Da'am on the doorposts of Jewish homes on the night of the Mako of Bechorot and about the relevance of all of these Divine Commands today.

Rabbi Wagonsberg spoke of a theme which winds through Parshi'ot Va'eira and Bo. This theme is that Am Yisrael grows, thrives and accomplishes in the night, in the dark -- when times are the worst. He said, in the name of the Zohar, that there is no light other than the light which comes out from the darkness. In his shuir, Rav Wagonsberg asks a number of questions. One of them is why Moshe does not understand the Halacha of sanctifying the New Moon.

Moshe Rabbeinu, Rabbi Wagonsberg relates, never had a bad day in his life. Seems that I recall Philadelphia sports talk show host Howard Eskin saying the same thing each time that caller asked how he is. Moshe was the attribute of the Sun. However, the rest of B'nai Yisrael bares the attribute of the Moon -- the night, the darkness. Rav Wagonsberg goes on to say that from midnight -- from Chatzos, from the darkest of times comes the Ge'ula Shlaima. From failure, from the darkest of crisis for Am Yisrael comes the seed of Redemption.

Therefore, Hashem had to show Moshe, with his "finger" if you will, the New Moon. Whereas Moshe Rabbeinu was instructed by Hashem to bring the first seven plagues by day, he was instructed to bring the final three plagues by night. In fact, the plague of Darkness -- Choshech was divided into two parts. Six days of the plague preceded the plague of the First Born and the seventh day preceded Kri'at Yum Sof. And Rav Wagonsberg quotes from the Kli Yakar who says that by the plague of the Locusts, the locusts covered "the eye of the earth." The locusts not only swarmed and ate all that remained on the land, they also swarmed in the heavens blocking the Sun's rays. The Sun's rays couldn't penetrate to the earth. Therefore, as the locusts swarmed, there was darkness as well.

Rabbi Wagonsberg spoke in the name of the "Torah Temima" who wrote that the World grew from a dot. The World kept growing and growing until Hashem let out a scream, a roar for the World to STOP. Enough growth! If the World had continued to grow, it would have matured to perfection without effort by man. And so, Hashem decreed, long before B'nai Yisrael did any aveirot, that the Golus of Mitzrayim would last 400 years. The B'nai Yisrael needed to brought down, they needed to experience the 49th level of Tumah in order for Hashem to redeem them at the last second. 

Rabbi Wagonsberg said, in the name of The Gra -- The Vilna Goan, that we actually suffered 400 years of enslavement, persecution and suffering in 210 years. The Vilna Goan brings a proof. The trop -- cantillation "Kadma V'Azla" denoting "Get Up, Rise Up or Set Out" is found in in Perek 12, posuk 30 in the words "Vayakom Pharoh...; And Pharoh rose up..." The Kadma is found above the Yud of Vayakom and above the Ayin of Pharoh. It is also found in the next posuk -- #31 "And Pharoh called for Moshe and for Aaron and he said: Set out! Get out from among my people, both you and the B'Nai Yisrael." Here, the Kadma is found above the Shin of Moshe and above the Reish of Aaron. The Vilna Goan then states that the words "Kadma V'Azla" have a gematria of 190.

But what has all of this got to do with the Korban Pesach and the Da'am on the doorposts of Jewish homes? I believe that the final three Makot and the Sanctification of the New Moon relate to the Korban Pesach and the Da'am on Jewish doorposts in that our Emunah was tested in the very darkest of times. In order that we would merit the Redemption, it was necessary, despite all that had befallen us, that we show our Emunah, our perfect faith that Hashem would take us out from the depths of Mitzrayim and bring us to Eretz Yisrael, as he had promised Avos.

But what is the relevance of these Divine Commands to today? Today, we face very dark times. Israel is in the midst of a war, a war different than her previous wars. It is a war in which her army is hamstrung (excuse the term) due to a gridlocked, vacillating governmental leadership. This leadership lacks the necessary Emunah -- faith in Hashem necessary to initiate decisive, definitive action to eradicate a cancer threatening B'nai Yisrael. 

We today lack a Moshe Rabbeinu and an Aaron HaKohen. Further, this Matzav and the world economic downturn threatens our economic wellbeing here in Eretz Yisrael -- our ability to put bread and food on the table for our families and keep a roof over our heads. 

And yet, we are here. We remain here, steadfast. Our Emunah gives us confidence that Hashem will, in time, provide us with the means, the instrument, the antidote for the Galut and it's ills that he will use to bring about the Ge'ula Shlaima. But when?? 

In these dark times, our Jewish brothers in Chutz L'Aretz need to be strong of faith and make the plunge. Join the few, the brave, the Olim Chadashim. The number of "1,000,000 New Olim" over the next 10 years has bantered around in political circles. We have to make it happen. We must, despite the current dark times, have the Emunah and courage that our brothers and sisters had in Mitzrayim; to do what Hashem commanded re: the Korban Pesach and the Da'am on our doorposts, to cast aside "The Iron Crucible", the vicious circle and cycle of the Galut -- the cycle of the Mortgage, the new car every other year, the material furnishings and the accoutrements -- the material things which look nice, look beautiful but lack real value or worth. We must have emunah and courage to come Home -- Yishuv Eretz Yisrael.

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, of Blessed Memory, beautifully expressed Yishuv Eretz Yisroel when he penned English words to the Hebrew prayer and niggun of "V'HaSheiv Kohanim" which many of us sing at the Shabbat table both here in Eretz Yisrael and in Chutz L'Aretz -- "Restore the Kohanim to their service..." It reads in part, "Return again, return again, return to the Land of your soul. Return to who you are, return to what you are, return to where you are born and reborn again...." Am Yisrael belongs in Eretz Yisrael. Only when the Moshiach in each of us brings us to our own personal "Yetziyat" will we truly merit the Ge'ula Shlaima as Am Yisrael. 

Then we will ALL be zocha to have our Tefillah reach Shemayim, unimpeded, ungarbled, as Rabbi Moshe Ungar would say each Thursday evening at his Gemara Shuir back in Phildelphia, in "the old country", when we demand, compel Hashem to do "what he wants to do, to bring us the Moshiach and the Ge'ula Shlaima, bim hay v'yameinu -- speedily, in our time", like Achshav -- IMMEDIATELY -- like Chik Chuk!!!

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