Parsha Q&A - Parshat Bo
This publication is also available in the following formats: Explanation of these symbols
- What was Pharaoh's excuse for not releasing the Jewish children?
- How did the locusts in the time of Moshe differ from those in the days of Yoel?
- How did the first three days of darkness differ from the last three?
- When the Jews asked the Egyptians for gold and silver vessels, the Egyptians were unable to deny ownership of such vessels. Why?
- Makat bechorot took place at exactly midnight. Why did Moshe say it would take place at approximately midnight?
- Why did the firstborn of the animals die?
- How did Moshe show respect to Pharaoh when he warned him about the aftermath of the plague of the firstborn?
- Hashem told Moshe "so that my wonders will be multiplied" (11:9). What three wonders was Hashem referring to?
- Why did Hashem command the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh to Aharon, and not only to Moshe?
- Up to what age is an animal fit to be a Pesach offering?
- Prior to the Exodus from Egypt, what two mitzvot involving blood did Hashem give to the Jewish People?
- Rashi gives two explanations of the word "Pasachti." What are they?
- Why were the Jews told to stay indoors during makat bechorot?
- What was Pharaoh screaming as he ran from door to door the night of makat bechorot?
- Why did Pharaoh ask Moshe to bless him?
- Why did the Jewish People carry their matzah on their shoulders rather than have their animals carry it?
- Who comprised the erev rav (mixed multitude)?
- What three historical events occurred on the 15th of Nissan, prior to the event of the Exodus from Egypt?
- What is the source of the "milk and honey" found in Eretz Yisrael?
- The only non-kosher animal whose firstborn is redeemed is the donkey. What did the donkeys do to "earn" this distinction?
(kasha means "question")
How would you answer this question on the Parsha?
"And B'nei Yisrael did as Moshe told them, and they borrowed from the Egyptians vessels of silver, vessels of gold and clothing." (Exodus 12:35)
How could the Israelites borrow from the Egyptians, knowing that they would not repay? Isn't that stealing?
ANSWER: In Hebrew, "borrow" and "ask for" are the same word. Thus, some commentaries explain that the Jews didn't "borrow," but rather "asked for" these items as outright gifts.
The Talmud notes that the Egyptians owed the Jews wages for centuries of unjust slavery, and that the Jews took only what was rightly theirs as partial payment. This money also partially compensated them for their lands and homes in Egypt which the Egyptians confiscated. (Sanhedrin 91, Genesis 47:27)
A third answer: The Egyptians pursued the Jews to the Red Sea, attempting to annihilate and plunder them. Egypt being the aggressor, the Jews won all property in question as spoils of war, as is the case in any war that the spoils of the pursuers belong to the pursued.
Do you have a KASHA? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions on any Parsha!
"At approximately midnight I will go out amidst Egypt, and every first born will die..." (11:14)
Hashem's "clock" is set to Jerusalem time. The plague of the first-born took place at exactly midnight, Jerusalem time. But because Egypt is west of Jerusalem, midnight there occurs later. When Moshe said the plague would be at "approximately midnight," he was referring to local Egyptian time.
Kehillat Yitzchak; thanks to Rabbi Sholem Fishbane
All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated
10:11 - Since children don't bring sacrifices there was no need for them to go.
10:14 - The plague brought by Moshe was composed of one species of locust, whereas the plague in the days of Yoel was composed of many species.
10:22 - During the first three days the Egyptians couldn't see. During the last three days they couldn't move.
10:22 - During the plague of darkness the Jews could see and they searched and found the Egyptians' vessels.
11:4 - If Moshe said the plague would begin exactly at midnight, the Egyptians might miscalculate and accuse Moshe of being a fake.
11:5 - Because the Egyptians worshiped them as gods, and when Hashem punishes a nation He also punishes its gods.
11:8 - Moshe warned that "All these servants of yours will come down to me" when, in fact, it was Pharaoh himself who actually came running to Moshe.
11:9 - The plague of the firstborn, the splitting of the sea, the drowning of the Egyptian soldiers.
12:1 - As reward for his efforts in bringing about the plagues.
12:5 - One year.
12:6 - Circumcision and Korban Pesach.
12:13 - "I had mercy" and "I skipped."
12:22 - Since it was a night of destruction, it was not safe for anyone to leave the protected premises of his home.
12:31 - "Where does Moshe live? Where does Aharon live?"
12:32 - So he wouldn't die, for he himself was a firstborn.
12:34 - Because the commandment of matzah was dear to them.
12:38 - People from other nations who became converts.
12:41 - The angels came to promise that Sarah would have a son, Yitzchak was born, and the exile of the "covenant between the parts" was decreed.
13:5 - Goat milk, date and fig honey.
13:13 - They helped the Jews by carrying silver and gold out of Egypt.
Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane & Rabbi Reuven Subar
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Production Design: Michael Treblow
© 2001 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved. This publication may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue newsletters. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission, and then send us a sample issue.
Ohr Somayach Institutions is an international network of Yeshivot and outreach centers, with branches in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America. The Central Campus in Jerusalem provides a full range of educational services for over 685 full-time students.
The Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) of Ohr Somayach offers summer and winter programs in Israel that attract hundreds of university students from around the world for 3 to 8 weeks of study and touring.
Copyright © 2001 Ohr Somayach International. Send us Feedback.
Dedication opportunities are available for Parsha Q&A. Please contact us for details.