Bo (parsha)

Bo (parsha)

Bo (בא — Hebrew for “go,” the first word that God speaks in the parshah, in [ Exodus 10:1] ) is the fifteenth weekly Torah portion ("parshah") in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the third in the book of Exodus. It constitutes Exodus [ 10:1–13:16.] Jews in the Diaspora read it the fifteenth Sabbath after Simchat Torah, generally in January or early February.


The last plagues of Egypt

After seven plagues, God continued visiting plagues on Egypt. Moses and Aaron warned Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, or suffer locusts covering the land. ( [ Ex. 10:3–5.] ) Pharaoh’s courtiers pressed Pharaoh to let the men go, so Pharaoh brought Moses and Aaron back and asked them, “Who are the ones to go?” ( [ Ex. 10:7–8.] ) Moses insisted that young and old, sons and daughters, flocks and herds would go, but Pharaoh rejected Moses’ request and expelled Moses and Aaron from his presence. ( [ Ex. 10:9–11.] ) Moses held his rod over the land, and God drove an east wind to bring locusts to invade all the land. ( [ Ex. 10:12–15.] ) Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron, asked forgiveness, and asked them to plead with God to remove the locusts. ( [ Ex. 10:16–17.] ) Moses did so, and God brought a west wind to lift the locusts into the Sea of Reeds. ( [ Ex. 10:18–19.] ) But God stiffened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go. ( [ Ex. 10:20.] )

Then God instructed Moses to hold his arm toward the sky to bring darkness upon the land, and Moses did so, but the Israelites enjoyed light. ( [ Ex. 10:21–23.] ) Pharaoh summoned Moses and told him to go, leaving only the Israelites’ flocks and herds behind, but Moses insisted that none of the Israelites’ livestock be left behind, for “ [W] e shall not know with what we are to worship the LORD until we arrive there.” ( [ Ex. 10:24–26.] ) But God stiffened Pharaoh’s heart, and he expelled Moses saying: “ [T] he moment you look upon my face, you shall die.” ( [ Ex. 10:27–28.] ) Moses warned Pharaoh that God would kill every firstborn in Egypt, but not a dog of the Israelites. ( [ Ex. 11:4–7.] ) And Moses left Pharaoh in hot anger. ( [ Ex. 11:8.] )

The first Passover

God told Moses and Aaron to mark that month as the first of the months of the year. ( [ Ex. 12:1–2.] ) And God told them to instruct the Israelites in the laws of Passover, and the Israelites obeyed. ( [ 43–49;] [ 13:6–10;] [ 23:15;] [ 34:25;] (Mishnah ; Tosefta Pisha 1:1–10:13; Jerusalem Talmud Pesachim 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 2a–121b.) And elsewhere, the Mishnah in tractate Zevahim taught that intent to eat the Passover offering raw (violating the commandment of and interpreted and demanded back wages from the Egyptians for the labor of 600,000 Israelite men whom the Egyptians had compelled to work for them for 430 years. Alexander turned to the Egyptians for a proper answer. The Egyptians requested three days’ time, but could not find a satisfactory answer, and they fled. (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 91a.)

A Baraita taught that when Moses broke the stone tablets in Resh Lakish interpreted this to mean that God gave Moses strength because he broke the tablets. (Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 87a.)

Exodus chapter 13

The Mishnah taught that invalidity in any of the four portions of the Bible in tefillin — one of which is [ 12–13.] (Mishnah Bekhorot 1:1–6:12; Tosefta Bekhorot 1:1–7:15; Babylonian Talmud Bekhorot 2a–61a.) Elsewhere, the Mishnah drew from )
*To eat the Passover lamb with matzah and maror on the night of the fourteenth of Nisan ()
*To destroy all chametz on the fourteenth of Nisan ()
*Not to eat mixtures containing chametz all seven days of Passover ()
*Not to take the paschal meat from the confines of the group ()
*To set aside the firstborn animals ()
*To relate the Exodus from Egypt on the first night of Passover ()("Sefer HaHinnuch: The Book of [Mitzvah] Education". Translated by Charles Wengrov, vol. 1, 93–137. Jerusalem: Feldheim Pub., 1991. ISBN 0-87306-179-9.)


The haftarah for the parshah is Jeremiah [ 46:13–28.] Both the parshah and the haftarah describe God’s judgment against Egypt. The parshah reports that God told Moses to go ("bo’") to Pharaoh ( ) And both the parshah and the haftarah report God’s ultimate deliverance of the Israelites from their captivity. ( (command to kill sons); [ 4:21] (hardening Pharaoh’s heart); [ 7:3] (hardening Pharaoh’s heart); [ 9:12] (hardening Pharaoh’s heart); [ 14:4] (hardening Pharaoh’s heart); [ 14:8] (hardening Pharaoh’s heart); [ 22:28–29] (firstborn); [ 23:15] (Passover); [ 34:25] (Passover).
*Leviticus [ 23:4–8] (Passover).
*Numbers [ 3:11–13] (firstborn); [ 9:1–14] (Passover); [ 18:15–18] (firstborn); [ 28:16-25] (Passover).
*Deuteronomy [ 2:30] (hardening of heart); [ 15:7] (hardening of heart); [ 15:13–14] (parting gifts for freed slaves); [ 15:19–23] (firstborn); [ 16:1–8] (Passover).
*Joshua [ 2:18–21] (destruction of all but those with a red mark on their dwelling); [ 11:20] (hardening of heart).
*Jeremiah [ 31:8] (firstborn).
*Ezekiel [ 9:4–6] (slaying those without the mark).
*Joel [ 2:2] (darkness).

Early nonrabbinic

*Wisdom of Solomon, [
] Alexandria, Egypt, 2nd–1st Century B.C.E.
*Romans [;&version=31; 9:14–18.] 1st Century. (hardening Pharaoh’s heart).
*Hebrews [;&version=31; 11:28.] Late 1st Century. (Passover).
*Revelation [;&version=31; 17:17.] Late 1st Century. (changing hearts to God’s purpose).
*Josephus. "The Wars of the Jews", Circa 75 C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., "The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition". Translated by William Whiston, 716. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Pub., 1987. ISBN 0-913573-86-8.
*Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews" [ 2:14:4] – [ 2:15:1.] Circa 93–94. Reprinted in, e.g., "The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition". Translated by William Whiston, 73–74. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Pub., 1987. ISBN 0-913573-86-8.

Classical rabbinic

*Mishnah: Challah 1:2, 4:9; Orlah 3:3; Bikkurim 2:9; Pesachim 1:1–10:9; Beitzah 1:1; Megillah 3:4; Avodah Zarah 5:9; Zevahim 3:6; Menachot 3:7; Bekhorot 1:1–6:12, 8:1; Keritot 1:1. 3rd Century. Reprinted in, e.g., "The Mishnah: A New Translation". Translated by Jacob Neusner, 148, 157, 165, 171, 229–51, 291, 321, 672, 705, 739, 787–800, 803, 836. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-05022-4.
*Tosefta: Terumot 10:7; Challah 2:9; Pisha (Pesachim) 1:1–10:13; Sukkah 2:1; Yom Tov (Beitzah) 1:4–5; Rosh Hashanah 1:1, 3; Megillah 3:4; Sotah 4:5; Makkot 4:1; Zevachim 1:1; Menachot 8:28; Bekhorot 1:1–7:15. 3rd–4th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., "The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction". Translated by Jacob Neusner, 198, 339, 471–522, 572, 585–86, 605, 645, 846, 1208–09, 1308, 1445, 1469–94. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Pub., 2002. ISBN 1-56563-642-2.
*Jerusalem Talmud Berakhot 9a, 21b, 37a, 61a. Land of Israel, 4th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., "Talmud Yerushalmi: Tractate Berachos". Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, vols. 1, 2. Brooklyn: Mesorah Pubs., 2006.
*Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael: Pisha 1:1–18:2. Land of Israel, late 4th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., "Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael". Translated by Jacob Neusner, vol. 1, 1–119. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988. ISBN 1-55540-237-2.
*Babylonian Talmud: Berakhot 3b–4a, 9a–b, 10b, 37a, 38b, 56a–b; Shabbat 24b–25a, 28b, 60b, 87a, 108a, 114b, 133a, 147b; Eruvin 23a, 27a, 96a; Pesachim 2a–121b; Yoma 36a, 49b, 51a, 79b; Sukkah 11b, 13a, 27a, 29a, 33a, 42b; Beitzah 2a–b, 7b, 12b, 20b–21a, 22a, 28b, 32b; Rosh Hashanah 4b, 7a, 8b, 11b, 20a, 22a, 25b; Taanit 7a; Megillah 5a, 6b, 7b, 21a, 29a, 30a, 31a; Chagigah 7b, 10b, 16b–17a; Yevamot 5b, 40a, 46a, 48a, 62a, 70a–71a, 72a, 74a; Ketubot 7a, 102a; Nedarim 25a, 36a; Nazir 7a, 23a; Gittin 10a, 25a, 38a; Kiddushin 6b, 29a, 34a, 35a, 37a–b, 41b–42a, 57b, 72b, 76a; Bava Kamma 13a, 37b, 41a, 50b, 54a–b, 60a, 63a, 64a, 76b, 78a, 110b; Bava Metzia 6b, 42a, 115b; Bava Batra 97b, 118b; Sanhedrin 4b, 12b, 18a, 36a, 42a, 48b, 63a, 91a; Makkot 4b, 8b, 11a, 13a–b, 15a, 16a, 17a–b, 21b–22a; Shevuot 3b; Avodah Zarah 24a, 27a, 74a; Zevachim 7a–b, 9a, 10b–12a, 23a, 25b, 36a, 37b, 57b, 91a, 102a, 106b, 116a; Menachot 28a, 29a–b, 34a–b, 36b–37a, 42b, 47b, 49b, 53a, 66a, 67a, 82b, 83b, 98a; Chullin 11a, 17b, 68a, 69b–70a, 74b, 78b, 82b, 91a, 115a, 120a, 129a, 133b–34a, 136b, 141b; Bekhorot 2a–61a; Arakhin 8b, 13b, 18a–b, 19b, 24b; Temurah 4b, 5b, 18b, 30b; Keritot 2a, 4a, 28a; Meilah 13a. Babylonia, 6th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., "Talmud Bavli". Edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr, Chaim Malinowitz, and Mordechai Marcus, 72 vols. Brooklyn: Mesorah Pubs., 2006.


*Exodus Rabbah 13:1–19:8. 10th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., "Midrash Rabbah: Exodus". Translated by S. M. Lehrman. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
*Rashi. "Commentary". [ Exodus 10–13.] Troyes, France, late 11th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashi. "The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated". Translated and annotated by Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, 2:91–141. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-89906-027-7.
*Judah Halevi. "Kuzari". Toledo, Spain, 1130–1140. Reprinted in, e.g., Jehuda Halevi. "Kuzari: An Argument for the Faith of Israel." Intro. by Henry Slonimsky, 132, 166. New York: Schocken, 1964. ISBN 0-8052-0075-4.
*Zohar [ 2:32b–44a.] Spain, late 13th Century.


*Thomas Hobbes. "Leviathan", England, 1651. Reprint edited by C. B. Macpherson, 487. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Classics, 1982. ISBN 0140431950.
*A. M. Klein. "Concerning Four Strange Sons." Circa 1937. "Haggadah." 1940. In "The Collected Poems of A.M. Klein", 78–79, 143–46. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1974. ISBN 0-07-077625-3.
*Thomas Mann. "Joseph and His Brothers". Translated by John E. Woods, 79, 384–86, 715, 788. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-4001-9. Originally published as "Joseph und seine Brüder". Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer Verlag, 1943.
*Dan Jacobson. “A Plague of Darkness.” In "Gates to the New City: A Treasury of Modern Jewish Tales". Edited by Howard Schwartz, 157–60. New York: Avon, 1983. ISBN 0-380-81091-3. Reissue ed. Jason Aronson, 1991. ISBN 0876688490.
*Ziony Zevit. “Three Ways to Look at the Ten Plagues: Were They Natural Disasters, a Demonstration of the Impotence of the Egyptian Gods or an Undoing of Creation?” "Bible Review", 6 (3) (June 1990).
*Jacob Milgrom. “The Alien in Your Midst: Every Nation Has Its Ger: The Permanent Resident. The Torah Commands Us, First, Not To Oppress the Ger, and Then To Befriend and Love Him.” "Bible Review", 11 (6) (Dec. 1995).
*William H.C. Propp. "Exodus 1–18", 2:290–461. New York: Anchor Bible, 1998. ISBN 0-385-14804-6.

External links


* [ Masoretic text and 1917 JPS translation]
* [ Hear the parshah chanted]


* [ Commentaries] from the Jewish Theological Seminary
* [ Commentaries] from the University of Judaism
* [ Torah Sparks] from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
* [ Commentaries] from the Orthodox Union
* [ Commentaries] from the Academy for Jewish Religion
* [ Commentaries] from
* [ Commentaries] and [ Family Shabbat Table Talk] from the Union for Reform Judaism
* [ Commentaries] from Reconstructionist Judaism
* [ Commentaries] from []
* [ Commentaries] from []
* [ Commentaries] from []
* [ Commentaries] from [ Torah from Dixie]
* [ Commentary] from [ Ohr Sameach]
* [ Commentaries] and [ Shabbat Table Talk] from [ The Sephardic Institute]
* [ Commentaries] from []
* [ Commentaries] from [ Parshah Parts]
* [ Commentary] from [ Anshe Emes Synagogue, Los Angeles]
* [ Torah Sermon] and [ Torah Tidbits] from [ Ohev Sholom Talmud Torah]
* [ Commentaries] from the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
* [ Commentary] from [, Torah Education at Cherry Hill]

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