Thursday, January 26, 2012

Parshat Bo, 5772 (Jan. 2012)

[I'm going to try to remember to date my parsha posts by year--I should have done that from the beginning, but better late than never.]

[Monday, January 30, 2012 update at end.]

You can read the basics here.

And the answer to the question, "Does "Yeter," an alternative, and probably scribal-error-based, name for Yitro, mean anything?" is "Yes, it means "the rest, over- , excess." Now why didn't I think to look it up in my trusty Hebrew/English dictionary/milon until I read it again in this week's parsha, in Sh'mot/Exodus, chapter 10, verse 5? That word just jumped off the page when I heard it during the Torah reading at minyan this morning.

My husband has a book about major and minor Jewish holidays called The Jewish Festivals (UAHC, 1938). The author thereof, Hayyim Schauss, posits that Passover/Pesach was originally two separate holidays, one for the shepherds (hence the lamb sacrifice) and one for the farmers (hence the matzah). That's fairly visible in the text of this parsha, where the sacrifice and the matzah are described separately, as if they were not entirely related. It was the genius of the ancient sage Hillel to combine the two practices into one "Hillel sandwich," with the lamb sacrifice eaten on matzah.

Here's DovBear's latest Bo post: No one could move during [plague of ] darkness?

Here are some oldies of mine:

  • Quick thought on Parshat Bo:"Coming out" as Jews (Monday, February 02, 2009) Highlight: G-d commanded us to put blood on our doorposts just to see who'd be willing to announce publicly their identity as Hebrews.

  • G-d lied (Monday, January 18, 2010) Highlight: Aharon (Aaron) never once spoke alone to Par'oh (Pharaoh) on behalf of Moshe (Moses) despite G-d's assurance to speech-impaired Moshe that Aharon would do the talking.

  • Parshat Bo notes (Tuesday, January 04, 2011)
    Highlight: "Check out Parshat Bo, Exodus Chap. 10, v. 8-13: Moshe tells Par'o [Pharaoh] that they're taking the whole gang to make a sacrifice, but when Par'o objects, saying that only the men should go, HaShem sends another plague! So we women are indispensible for worship!"

  • A Parshat Bo link, slightly belated (Thursday, January 13, 2011)--A link to Rabbi Barry Leff's post ["Moses, Pharaoh, and Wikileaks"], plus an old [related] post of mine.

Monday, January 30, 2012 update:

In Sh'mot/Exodus chapter 10, verse 29, Moshe tells Par'oh that Par'oh will not see his face again. Yet, in chapter 11, Moshe first tells the Hebrews to raid the Egyptians (for booty or back pay, depending on whose opinion you follow), which they do, and then he warns Par'oh about the death of the firstborn. Clearly, he's left Par'oh's presence and later returned. Either Moshe changed his mind about Par'oh not seeing his face again, or else this is a case of Documentary Hypothesis.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, shoud we sing "The Cowboy and the Farmer should be friends" when we eat our Hillel sandwich?


Fri Jan 27, 07:45:00 AM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

For the benefit of those who are unacquainted with the Broadway musical and movie “Oklahoma”, here are the lyrics to "The Farmer and the Cowman Should be Friends."

Fri Jan 27, 10:15:00 AM 2012  

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