Bo – Ex. 10:1-13:16 (Jan. 31/Feb.1)

As the Torah Turns

Rabbi Lader’s Weekly D’var Torah

Bo – Ex. 10:1-13:16 (Jan.31/Feb.1)

This week’s Torah portion is Bo – Ex. 10:1-13:16… and brings us to the climax of Israel’s struggle for freedom.  Pharaoh, seeing that Egypt has been wounded in the struggle, is willing to let some of the Israelites go… for a time.  Moses refuses to go unless all Israel can go together.  Pharaoh offers a concession, but Moses pushes for an all-inclusive communal agenda: “We will go with our young and our old, we will go with our sons and our daughters.” (Ex. 10:9) Albert Einstein captured the importance of community and justice as he wrote*:  “Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however,there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of other men — above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received and am still receiving.” 

May the words of Moses and Einstein resound in us as we rejoice in community and seek justice in our world.  * Living Philosophies, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1931. For the full text, follow this link:

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