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Parshat Bo: Was Moshe coming or going?

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Was Moshe coming or going?

In the beginning of Parshat Bo, Hashem gives him a command, ‘Bo el-par’oh’, which means ‘come to Pharaoh’.

Hashem was actually instructing Moshe to go to Pharaoh. So why did he say ‘bo’?

You will notice that the whole Sedra is named after this term.

The Kotzker Rebbe gives a beautiful explanation. He says that Hashem could sense that Moshe was feeling alone.

After all, he was going to confront Pharaoh, King of Egypt, in his palace.

He had the entire Egyptian nation pitted against him and he also knew that his own people weren’t passionately in support of him.

Hashem wanted Moshe to know that Hashem was with him.

At the burning bush Moshe asked Hashem, ‘Mi anochi ki elech el-par’oh’ – ‘who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?’

And God’s answer was ‘ki-ehyeh immach’ – ‘I will be with you’.

Indeed, the Mekhilta, the Midrash, tells us that at the time when Moshe was speaking to Pharaoh, he felt the voice of Hashem coming out of his mouth.

Such was the palpable presence of the Almighty with Moshe at that time.

And that’s why Hashem said to Moshe, ‘Bo el-par’oh’, come Moshe, come be with me, when the two of us will stand before Pharaoh.

In Psalm 23 we declare ‘Lo-ira ra ki-attah immadi’, ‘we will not fear any evil because God You are with us in times of trouble’.

Indeed, when the Jewish people has a sense that we are alone in this world, Hashem reassures us and He says no, I am with you.

Sometimes Hashem walks alongside us, sometimes he carries us in his arms.

But he is with us in the midst of deep challenges.

And that is exactly the situation right now, at a time when we are filled with anxiety and worry for the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

We know that Hashem is with us and he will always be.

Shabbat Shalom.

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