18 Jan Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Bo 5778 – Weekend of January 19, 2018
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Bo which commences with the final three plagues on Egypt – locusts, darkness and the slaying of the first born – and concludes with the moment of the actual exodus from Egypt. But before the final plague can actually take place the people are given detailed instructions on how to care for the pascal lamb, how to slaughter it, how to rub its blood on the doorposts, how eat it and what to eat it with. Considering that the people knew that freedom was soon at hand, it must have been a time full of anxiety, anticipation and preparation for what was they knew would be one of the most important moments of their lives. They were lucky to have so much advanced warning before their life changing experience. We, on the other hand, are not always given the gift of advanced notice before an event comes along to change our lives. As often as not, things change on us on a dime, without the chance to prepare even at all. However, we do share a common attribute with the Israelites, that being a caring community to be with us during whatever life throws our way. The Israelites marched out of Egypt as one nation, and we stand together in both good times and bad. Lucky for all of us.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik