The Weekly D'rash and the Scriptures that we will be reading this Shabbat for Bo from Rabbi Howard Silverman:
TORAH ~ Exodus 10:1-13:16
HAFTARAH ~ Jeremiah 46:13-28 BRIT CHADASHA ~ Hebrews 11:23-28
Grandchildren are great! I am blessed with four beautiful granddaughters. When I think about them, I wonder what they will be like when they grow up. Will they remember me? Will they know anything about me? Will they have memories of talking to and playing with me? I often think about what I can pour into them as they grow up that will stick with them. What values or perspectives on life can I relate to them? How can I demonstrate godliness to them? Our Torah portion for this week exhorts us to inculcate into our grandchildren the great work of God in delivering our ancestors out of Egypt. Right at the beginning of the portion we read, “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians, and how I performed My signs among them; that you may know that I am the Lord’’’ (Exo 10:1–2). Notice that the verse says that God does the signs, and we are to tell our children and grandchildren. The story of the exodus is a defining moment in the history of Israel (or salvation history) that is meant to be perpetuated for the generations to come. There are two other places in the Torah where we are exhorted to speak to our grandchildren. We read in Deuteronomy 4:9, “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen, and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and to your grandsons”. In Deuteronomy 6:1–2 we read, “Now this is the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it so that you, your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God” . . . . The ancient history of Israel is designed to be handed down from one generation to another. It is the responsibility of each generation to inculcate into the next generation the history and reality of God. This does not happen automatically. We must never assume that just because Mom and Dad have made professions of faith in Yeshua and are part of a congregation that the children will respond in the same way simply because they are exposed to it. We can proactively model a godly way of life and teach our children the Scriptures. These are good ways of pouring the truth of God into younger generations. Of course, we know that while we may have grandchildren, God does not. Every person has the responsibility of embracing Yeshua. But we are called to witness or testify of the reality of God to them. Notice that the passages in Deuteronomy are about telling future generations about the commands and way of life that God has given to us. But the passage in Exodus, our portion for this week, is a command to tell future generations the story of deliverance (see also Exo 13:8 & 14). Stories are a remarkably effective way to pass down values, beliefs, and vision. Stories can be inspiring and moving, and can leave an indelible mark upon us. The Good News of God’s faithfulness to Israel gives us hope for the future—because the nature of God does not change. Just as God was with our people in the wilderness, He remains faithful. The stories of Joshua, David, Elijah, Elisha, and others in the Tanakh, teach us much about the nature of God and how He interacts with us. The account of the life of Yeshua is one big story that teaches us how to be forgiven of our sins, how to live, how to relate to God, how to have hope for the future, and of course how much He loves us. The main way that Yeshua taught His disciples was through stories about farmers, vineyards, fathers and sons, Samaritans and Jews, and a host of other characters. When we celebrate Passover, we are retelling the story. We use food, language, and songs to remind us and tell our children and grandchildren about the marvelous works of God. May I suggest that each of us has a story to tell when we know the Messiah. The most effective way of sharing the Good News is through the telling of our own story of deliverance. In fact, today a popular description of sharing a ‘testimony’ is by using the phrase ‘journey story’. I encourage us all to share our journey story with one another—and especially with our children and grandchildren—as well as other younger people. You may think that your story is mundane or boring. But the story is not about you! It is the continuation of the story of deliverance of the great miracle that God did for the Jewish people in Egypt, and the story of what Yeshua did for us 2000 years ago. Let us apply what it says in Psalm 48:12–13 about Jerusalem and the Temple to our own lives: “Walk about Zion and go around her! Count her towers! Consider her ramparts! Go through her palaces, that you may tell it to the next generation!” Think about your life and all that God has done . . . so you can tell it to the next generation! Shabbat Shalom! Rabbi Howard TORAH READING: EXODUS 10:1 – 13:16 10:1 Then the L-rd said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, 2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am the L-rd." 3 Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, "Thus says the L-rd, the G-d of the Hebrews, 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 4 'For if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. 5 'They shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. They will also eat the rest of what has escaped-- what is left to you from the hail-- and they will eat every tree which sprouts for you out of the field. 6 'Then your houses shall be filled and the houses of all your servants and the houses of all the Egyptians, something which neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen, from the day that they came upon the earth until this day.'" And he turned and went out from Pharaoh. 7 Pharaoh's servants said to him, "How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the L-rd their G-d. Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?" 8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, "Go, serve the L-rd your G-d! Who are the ones that are going?" 9 Moses said, "We shall go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we shall go, for we must hold a feast to the L-rd." 10 Then he said to them, "Thus may the L-rd be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Take heed, for evil is in your mind. 11 "Not so! Go now, the men among you, and serve the L-rd, for that is what you desire." So they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence. 12 Then the L-rd said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up on the land of Egypt and eat every plant of the land, even all that the hail has left." 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the L-rd directed an east wind on the land all that day and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled in all the territory of Egypt; they were very numerous. There had never been so many locusts, nor would there be so many again. 15 For they covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every plant of the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Thus nothing green was left on tree or plant of the field through all the land of Egypt. 16 Then Pharaoh hurriedly called for Moses and Aaron, and he said, "I have sinned against the L-rd your G-d and against you. 17 "Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once, and make supplication to the L-rd your G-d, that He would only remove this death from me." 18 He went out from Pharaoh and made supplication to the L-rd. 19 So the L-rd shifted the wind to a very strong west wind which took up the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea; not one locust was left in all the territory of Egypt. 20 But the L-rd hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go. 21 Then the L-rd said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt." 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. 23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings. 24 Then Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, "Go, serve the L-rd; only let your flocks and your herds be detained. Even your little ones may go with you." 25 But Moses said, "You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice them to the L-rd our G-d. 26 "Therefore, our livestock too shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we shall take some of them to serve the L-rd our G-d. And until we arrive there, we ourselves do not know with what we shall serve the L-rd." 27 But the L-rd hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to him, "Get away from me! Beware, do not see my face again, for in the day you see my face you shall die!" 29 Moses said, "You are right; I shall never see your face again!" 11:1 Now the L-rd said to Moses, "One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out from here completely. 2 "Speak now in the hearing of the people that each man ask from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold." 3 The L-rd gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people. 4 Moses said, "Thus says the L-rd, 'About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 'Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again. 7 'But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how the L-rd makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.' 8 "All these your servants will come down to me and bow themselves before me, saying, 'Go out, you and all the people who follow you,' and after that I will go out." And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. 9 Then the L-rd said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt." 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the L-rd hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land. 12:1 Now the L-rd said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. 3 "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household. 4 'Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. 5 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 'You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 7 'Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 'They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 'Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 'And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. 11 'Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste-- it is the L-rd'S Passover. 12 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I am the L-rd. 13 'The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the L-rd; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. 15 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 'On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 'You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance. 18 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 'Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land. 20 'You shall not eat anything leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'" 21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb. 22 "You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. 23 "For the L-rd will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the L-rd will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. 24 "And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever. 25 "When you enter the land which the L-rd will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite. 26 "And when your children say to you, 'What does this rite mean to you?' 27 you shall say, 'It is a Passover sacrifice to the L-rd who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.'" And the people bowed low and worshiped. 28 Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the L-rd had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 29 Now it came about at midnight that the L-rd struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. 30 Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead. 31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron at night and said, "Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the sons of Israel; and go, worship the L-rd, as you have said. 32 "Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and go, and bless me also." 33 The Egyptians urged the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, "We will all be dead." 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders. 35 Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; 36 and the L-rd had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. 37 Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock. 39 They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread. For it had not become leavened, since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves. 40 Now the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, all the hosts of the L-rd went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It is a night to be observed for the L-rd for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for the L-rd, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations. 43 The L-rd said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it; 44 but every man's slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it. 45 "A sojourner or a hired servant shall not eat of it. 46 "It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. 47 "All the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this. 48 "But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the L-rd, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 49 "The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you." 50 Then all the sons of Israel did so; they did just as the L-rd had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that same day the L-rd brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts. 13:1 Then the L-rd spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me." 3 Moses said to the people, "Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the L-rd brought you out from this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten. 4 "On this day in the month of Abib, you are about to go forth. 5 "It shall be when the L-rd brings you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall observe this rite in this month. 6 "For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the L-rd. 7 "Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. 8 "You shall tell your son on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the L-rd did for me when I came out of Egypt.' 9 "And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the L-rd may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the L-rd brought you out of Egypt. 10 "Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year. 11 "Now when the L-rd brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you, 12 you shall devote to the L-rd the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to the L-rd. 13 "But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. 14 "And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is this?' then you shall say to him, 'With a powerful hand the L-rd brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15 'It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the L-rd killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the L-rd the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.' 16 "So it shall serve as a sign on your hand and as phylacteries on your forehead, for with a powerful hand the L-rd brought us out of Egypt." HAFTARAH READING: JEREMIAH 46:13-28 46:13 This is the message which the L-rd spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to smite the land of Egypt: 14 "Declare in Egypt and proclaim in Migdol, Proclaim also in Memphis and Tahpanhes; Say, 'Take your stand and get yourself ready, For the sword has devoured those around you.' 15 "Why have your mighty ones become prostrate? They do not stand because the L-rd has thrust them down. 16 "They have repeatedly stumbled; Indeed, they have fallen one against another. Then they said, 'Get up! And let us go back To our own people and our native land Away from the sword of the oppressor.' 17 "They cried there, 'Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a big noise; He has let the appointed time pass by!' 18 "As I live," declares the King Whose name is the L-rd of hosts, "Surely one shall come who looms up like Tabor among the mountains, Or like Carmel by the sea. 19 "Make your baggage ready for exile, O daughter dwelling in Egypt, For Memphis will become a desolation; It will even be burned down and bereft of inhabitants. 20 "Egypt is a pretty heifer, But a horsefly is coming from the north-- it is coming! 21 "Also her mercenaries in her midst Are like fattened calves, For even they too have turned back and have fled away together; They did not stand their ground. For the day of their calamity has come upon them, The time of their punishment. 22 "Its sound moves along like a serpent; For they move on like an army And come to her as woodcutters with axes. 23 "They have cut down her forest," declares the L-rd; "Surely it will no more be found, Even though they are now more numerous than locusts And are without number. 24 "The daughter of Egypt has been put to shame, Given over to the power of the people of the north." 25 The L-rd of hosts, the G-d of Israel, says, "Behold, I am going to punish Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt along with her gods and her kings, even Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26 "I shall give them over to the power of those who are seeking their lives, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of his officers. Afterwards, however, it will be inhabited as in the days of old," declares the L-rd. 27 "But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear, Nor be dismayed, O Israel! For, see, I am going to save you from afar, And your descendants from the land of their captivity; And Jacob will return and be undisturbed And secure, with no one making him tremble. 28 "O Jacob My servant, do not fear," declares the L-rd, "For I am with you. For I will make a full end of all the nations Where I have driven you, Yet I will not make a full end of you; But I will correct you properly And by no means leave you unpunished." B’RIT CHADASHAH READING: HEBREWS 11:23-28 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 considering the reproach of Messiah greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.