Sunday, February 08, 2009

Parsha Notes (Bo)

Better late than not all...



Exodus 10:3: Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? כה־אמר... העברים עד־מתי מאנת לענת מפני


Exodus 10:7: Pharaoh's servants said to him, "How long will this man be a snare to us? ויאמרו עבדי פרעה אליו עד־מתי יהיה זה לנו למוקש


- Exodus 10:10 ויאמר אלהם יהי כן יהוה עםכם כאשר אשלח אתכם ואת־טפכם ראו כי רעה נגד פניכם׃
And he said unto them: 'So be the LORD with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones; see ye that evil [ra'ah] before your face.

Rashi takes the mention of Ra'ah as a reference to a particular star, but its seems more likely that Pharaoh is referring to Ra, the Egyptian sun God, and is saying, in essence, that his god stands against ours.

- Exodus 11:5: 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;

According to Cassuito "slave girl who is behind the millstones" is an authentic Egyptian idiom for "lowest of the low"


- Exodus 10:13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the LORD directed an east wind on the land all that day and all that night

"East wind" is a Canaanite idiom for a hot wind, or a wind that brought locusts. In Egypt, locusts would typically come from the South. (Sarna)

Fun fact to know and tell
The ibn Ezra says he experienced something much like the plague of Darkness during his sea journeys. (He mentions the Atlantic by name) He is referring to especially thick fogs.

Why do we cook the Passover lamb with no pot, and serve it with flat breads? Possible answer. [Alter ads that we're enjoined not to break the bones of the lamb to preserve the idea of haste. People with time to spare, might break bones and suck marrow. This ties in with the supposed reason for unleavened bread.]

Was Pesach originally one holiday or two? Who cares(!)

Contra midrash
We were all taught that the Jews didn't take Egyptian names or copy Egyptian clothing styles, yet: (Exodus 12:35) and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and cloaks.

Why do we keep mitzvos?

How many died during darkness? 1 and 2

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