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Idea on the Portion of the Week

The first scenario of Parshat Bo is the plague of locusts, which seems to really break Pharaoh, and he starts negotiating with Moses the terms of an excursion of the Israelites into the desert to offer sacrifices. "Who will be going" asks Pharaoh and Moses responds "our children, etc." which ends up being the deal breaker. Pharaoh only allows the גברים (adults) and so the saga continued without resolution.

 

What was really behind this exchange?

 

Pharaoh knew, like many after him, that the secret to Jewish continuity was, and always will be, the preparation of the younger generation. If he had any hope of maintaining control over the Israelites, he had to neutralize their efforts at creating identity in their children. Moses understood this as well, as we see he lists the children before any other sector of the population. So this strategy for national survival is indeed quite ancient, and has withstood the test of time!

Mon, January 25 2021 12 Shevat 5781