Parshat Bo 5782: Korban Pesach as Demonstration of Jews’ Loyalty to Hashem

Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua — Parshat Bo is being sponsored by Ayton and Ayelet Lefkowitz and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated Lilui Nishmas Ayton’s Grandmothers: Chana Michla bas Zeev Yitzchak and Miriam bas Avraham and his Grandfather Klonimus Yechezkel ben Yehuda. To Mishpochat Lefkowitz, many thanks for your sponsorship, your kindnesses through the years in helping facilitate Sefer Torah recycling and for your continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
skype: mark.burt3

Parshat Bo 5782: Korban Pesach as Demonstration of Jews’ Loyalty to Hashem

by Moshe Burt

For this author, Parshat Bo annually relates to that nutty parody, composed by Guess Who, of a crazy tune which got a lot of radio play back “in the Old Country” a few decades ago, “Does Your Korbon Pesach Lose It’s Flavor Tied to the Bedpost Overnight?” (Actually, the real title to the song was “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It’s Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?”) Here’s hoping that subscribers to this Parshat HaShevua, especially newer subscribers will click on the above YouTube link for a bit of levity.

Over the years, this author’s nutty parody has cut right to the chase, to the very heart of our Parshat. The lamb was seen by the Mitzriyim (Egyptians) as one of their myriads of “gods”. Therefore, Hashem mandated the Mitzvot of taking the Korbon Pesach publicly, slaughtering it and applying the da’am on Jewish doorposts. The going up from Mitzrayim (Egypt), enroute to their ultimate goal “…a land flowing with milk and honey …” — the Yetziyat Mitzrayim is as relevant to the National entity (B’nei Yisrael) today, as it was then, as it relates to emunah (belief in) and yirat (fear of) Hashem.

Torah relates in our Parsha:

“And Hashem said to Moshe and Aaron in the land of Egypt [Mitzrayim], saying… ‘Speak to the entire assembly of Israel, saying: On the tenth of this month [Nissan] they shall take for themselves — each man — a lamb/kid for a father’s house, a lamb/kid for each household… A perfect lamb/kid a male, within its first year shall it be.for you: from the sheep or from the goats… It shall be unto you for safekeeping until the fourteenth day of this month.'” (The Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary” renders to English Sefer Shemos, Perek 12, posukim 1, 3, 5-6)

The large, blue Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash (Sefer Shemos, page 350) cites Ramban on taking the Korban Pesach:

The Ramban suggests that Hashem chose only lambs or sheep for this offering because they were Egyptian deities. The use of these animals as offerings would demonstrate conclusively the total subjugation of Egypt to the will of Hashem.

In fact, Rabbi Mordechai Katz, in his sefer “LilMod ULamed writes (page 72):

Hashem was willing to save the Jews from their mitzri captivity. But were the Jews ready to accept Hashem as their G’d? How would Hashem know, for man has free will with respect to fear of Hashem? How would Hashem be sure of the Jews’ loyalty?

There was only one way to be sure. If the Jews would offer to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of Hashem’s word, they would be worthy of his assistance. It was for this reason that Hashem asked them to prepare the Korban Pesach… publicly. First, they were to procure the lamb, then lead it through the streets, and then slaughter it and sprinkle its blood on their doorposts. The reason for this very noticeable process was that the lamb was considered a deity by the Egyptians. Only one who was willing to put himself in jeopardy and face possible Mitzri hostility by sacrificing the Mitzri deity could show complete adherence to Hashem’s commands. By bringing the Korban, the Jews indicated that they deserved the deliverance from Mitzayim.

The Sochaczever Rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, z”l writes, in his sefer “Shem Mishmuel” on our Parshat Bo (page 125):

This facet of the Korban Pesach is… fundamental — It enabled Klal Yisrael to separate from their associations with the idolatry of Egypt (the object of which was the lamb) and to worship Hashem instead.

It is well known that Yisrael had reached the deepest level of spiritual calamity in their Egyptian exile — the stage which is called the forty-ninth level of spiritual impurity. Had they sunk any lower, they would have been so imbued with alien culture and depravity that they could never have been redeemed, and for this reason the Liberation took place earlier than originally intended.

Aharon Yaakov Greenberg renders to English Sefer Shemos, Perek 12, posuk 4 and writes in his sefer, “Torah Gems,” Volume 2 (pages 86-87) on our Parsha citing Davar Be-Ito:

“Every man according to his eating will you count for the lamb.”

The Paschal sacrifice is only slaughtered according to those who chose for it. (Aharon Yaakov Greenberg citing Pesachim 61) In other words, only those who elected to be included in a specific paschal lamb sacrifice may eat from that particular sacrifice…. There were those who at first did not believe that the redemption would come. They hesitated and did not wish to join those who believed in the Liberation. Only at the last moment, when redemption came pounding at the door, did they come to sit down to eat the Paschal sacrifice — after all of the preparations had been made others. These people were told, “the Paschal sacrifice is only to be eaten by those who chose for it.” Only those who planned for it, who risked their lives at a time when matters were still not clear, those who had prepared for the redemption, had the right to enjoy it when it came.

This author wonders what happened to those who recognized the coming redemption only at the last minute and were thus denied a share in the Korban Pesach. Did they do Brit Milah? What of their doorposts on Pesach night? Did they leave mitzrayim with the Jews who had emunah in Hashem?

And, in our times, it seems as if the aims of numerous laws and mandates of the current governance are potentially dangerous to Israel’s very security, as well as attempts to eradicate vestiges of our spirituality as Jews, to make Israel a “nation of all its people” rather than what Hashem intended — a nation of Jews.

This author can’t help but relate our current times to our Parsha regarding those of our brethren in Mitzrayim who had Emunah and Loyalty to Hashem, and those those who did not in the context of the coming of Moshiach and the Ge’ula Shleima — may it be speedily, in our times.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them and that the thrice expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. Baruch Hashem that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard is now free of his parole and restrictions and that he and his ill wife Esther Yocheved bat Rayzl Bracha are finally home in Eretz Yisrael. May the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem — as with the return in April, 2019, via Russia, of the remains of Zachariah Baumel, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of seven years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. And may we soon and finally see the total end to the Communist Chinese corona virus pandemic and all like viruses. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nei Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Chodesh Tov and Good Shabbos!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.