Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Bo
To dedicate this lesson



Rabbi Berel Wein

The great moment of freedom and redemption has finally arrived. The faith of the people of Israel in Moshe and Aharon has been vindicated. The Lord’s plagues have finally brought down the arrogance and stubbornness of Pharaoh. If this was an old-fashioned movie script we would write "and then they lived happily after." But we are all aware that this parsha only represents the beginning of a long and arduous story plot that has yet to reach its eventual happy conclusion. The new situation of freedom from actual physical slavery as heady and triumphant as it is presents only new challenges. Life itself resembles a series of doors that upon successfully opening one of them one discovers that there are now a different and new series of doors behind that original set of doors. The challenges of being a free person are to a great extent even more challenging than those of being locked into servitude. We are witness to the Torah’s recording of forty years in the desert until there arises a generation of Jews that is able to meet the challenge of establishing itself as a functioning national entity in its promised land of Israel. The word "bo" which serves as the headline of this week’s parsha indicates "coming" - a beginning and not a sense of finality and end. The Torah wishes to indicate to us that "the arrows are always yet ahead of us" to find and deal with. And there are many miracles involved in being freed from slavery but the road from there to true independence and accomplishment requires hard work, human persistence and unflagging spirit and high morale.
In our world of changing eras and bewildering uncertainties we can only reflect upon the enormous challenges facing us. The Diaspora as Jewry knew it to be for many centuries on end is no longer. The tremendous accomplishment of the creation of the State of Israel and sustaining it for its first sixty years is behind us. This process was fraught with many plagues and concurrent miracles. The faith of Israel has sustained us through these times of ordeal and difficulties. But now there are new and perhaps even more difficult challenges that face us. The task of nation-building is a long and arduous one, not given to easy solutions and pat sloganeering. It is measured not in years but in decades if not even in centuries. It requires faith and tenacity and along view of things. That is what God meant when he told Moshe at the beginning of the redemption process that Israel would accept the Torah at Sinai and that He would eventually bring them to the land that he promised to their forefathers. Why bother Moshe with those promises now when the people are under the lash of slavery? But God informs Moshe that freedom from slavery is only the beginning of the story not its culmination. Our modern story of Israel does not end in 1948 or 1967. The realization of this stark truth can fire us to greater understanding and firmer belief and behavior in the justice of our cause and its eventual triumph.
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר