Each week Adas Israel, the Jewish Congregation of Mason City, Iowa offers up Torah Thoughts a weekly look at the Torah Portion of the week. It's our way to help you in your Jewish studies and, at the same time, keep up with our service schedule and our Bible Study or Midrash.
Speaking of that we will hold our January service at 7:15PM Friday the 19th at the synagogue and then on Saturday (Shabbat) we will have our Midrash (Bible Study) starting at 10:00AM. All are welcome to attend and if you have a friend who is interested...bring 'em!
This Week's Torah Portion is called "Bo" which means "come". (Exodus 10:1 - 13:16) It's interesting that the words G-d uses to get Moses to "go" to Pharaoh is for Him to say, "Come to Pharaoh, for I have made his heart and the heart of his servants stubborn so that I can put these signs of Mine in his midst..." The rabbis tell us that the word implies that G-d was among the Egyptians, as he is everywhere, and that he needed Moses to come into his midst to confront the entire nation of Egypt.
Also notice the reason G-d has made the heart of the Egyptians "stubborn". G-d did so because he wished to, not only, punish the Egyptians "measure for measure" but also to show them who is in charge. In other words so there would not be any doubt.
We are entering the climax of Moses' mission with the final three plagues, the commandment of the New Moon, the Passover Offering and the Passover Festival. We also learn about the redemption of the first born. Something that is done yet today. We also, right at the end of the Parsha we are commended to wear Tefillin so that we might, daily, remember the Exodus.
Something to Ponder
After the Almighty gave the instruction regarding the Passover, the Torah reports to us something very interesting:
"And the Children of Israel went and did as the Almighty commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did" (Exodus 12:28).
Why the seemingly superfluous "so they did" at the end of the verse?
Rashi was bothered by this question, too. He comments that "so they did" refers to Moses and Aaron. They also did as the Almighty commanded about the Passover Sacrifice. The Torah tells us this as a lesson to anyone who wants to have a positive influence on others. It is not enough just to tell others to do good deeds. Your own behavior should serve as a model for them to follow.
Action is much more difficult than words. The way to influence others is to be the type of person you wish others to be.
If you want your children to act with wisdom in their lives, you must give them your example!
See you in Shul Friday Evening and on Saturday (Shabbat) Morning!