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Friday, January 11

The Weekly Shtikle - Bo

I recently had an observation regarding the current political battle raging in the United States and how it relates to events in these parshios. Without getting too deep in the political weeds, one way to understand the dispute is a disagreement as to whether or not certain individuals are desired as residents of this country. Shall we build a wall to keep out all but those who wish to enter through fully legal means? Or is it proper to let anyone in who wants to enter? Every nation needs to devote significant thought to the issue of whom they want to let in and at times, even consider those who are already there and whether they should remain.

There were certainly many facets to the subjugation in Mitzrayim and the subsequent redemption. This national issue was very much part of the story line. At the very beginning of Shemos, we learn about Paroah's convention to decide what to do about their "Jewish problem." One must assume that expulsion was an option that was on the table. Other nations throughout history have certainly had no qualms about that course of action. Ultimately, of course, it was decided that best strategy was to keep, contain and subjugate them.

As the mission towards deliverance begins, the dialogue consists primarily of Moshe trying to convince Paroah to let B'nei Yisrael leave for B'nei Yisrael's sake, not the sake of Paroah or Mitzrayim. However, after the attrition of the initial seven plagues, at the beginning of this week's parsha, we begin to see a shift. After Paroah stubbornly ignores Moshe's warning about the locusts, his closest courtiers have had enough and insist (10:7) that he let them go. We all know how that turned out.

Later, in the preamble to the ultimate plague of makas bechoros, Moshe foretells (11:8) that these servants would give up on convincing their ruler and come to Moshe on their own and beg him to leave. Sure enough, as the events played out, Paroah himself came to Moshe and Aharon and the entire nation eventually came to the realization that under no circumstances could the nation sustain B'nei Yisrael remaining in their midst. Finally, we were given the one expulsion in our history that we were actually longing for.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Dikdukian: Talented Locusts
AstroTorah: Korban Pesach in the Sky by R' Ari Storch
AstroTorah: The Death Star (Ra'ah) the classic by R' Ari Storch

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