This week's parsha, Parashat Bo, tells the story of the last three plagues set onto Egypt: locusts, darkness and the death of all first born Egyptian children. Shortly before carrying out the final plague, G-d instructs the Israelites to bring a lamb and smear its blood across the doorposts of every Israelite home. It is said that because of this, G-d would know to pass on each of these homes when he comes to kill the Egyptian’s firstborn.
It is following these deaths that Pharoah finally allows the Israelites their freedom after enslavement in Egypt. In fact, Pharoah is so shaken by the plague that he demands, and literally drives, the Jewish people’s exodus. Upon leaving the country in which they were taken as slaves, G-d commands the people of Israel to tell the story of both their enslavement and redemption to their children and all generations to come. Today, this is known as the Seder.
The mitzvah established as the Jewish people left Egypt has become a fundamental practice of our Jewish tradition. Highlighting the importance of knowing who you are and where you come from, the story reminds us that our present identity is fundamentally shaped by the past. In doing this, the parsha places a responsibility on us for the future.
As students, we can apply the responsibility of maintaining such high standards by using that knowledge to better ourselves and teach future generations the same.
Although times are uncertain, we are grounded by the idea of normality through the preservation of this parsha’s mitzvah.
Alon, Grade 12