For the week ending 11 January 2003 / 8 Shevat 5763

Parshat Bo

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  1. What was Pharaoh's excuse for not releasing the Jewish children?
  2. How did the locusts in the time of Moshe differ from those in the days of Yoel?
  3. How did the first three days of darkness differ from the last three?
  4. When the Jews asked the Egyptians for gold and silver vessels, the Egyptians were unable to deny ownership of such vessels. Why?
  5. Makat bechorot took place at exactly midnight. Why did Moshe say it would take place at approximately midnight?
  6. Why did the firstborn of the animals die?
  7. How did Moshe show respect to Pharaoh when he warned him about the aftermath of the plague of the firstborn?
  8. G-d told Moshe "so that my wonders will be multiplied" (11:9). What three wonders was G-d referring to?
  9. Why did G-d command the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh to Aharon, and not only to Moshe?
  10. Up to what age is an animal fit to be a Pesach offering?
  11. Prior to the Exodus from Egypt, what two mitzvot involving blood did G-d give to the Jewish People?
  12. Rashi gives two explanations of the word "Pasachti." What are they?
  13. Why were the Jews told to stay indoors during makat bechorot?
  14. What was Pharaoh screaming as he ran from door to door the night of makat bechorot?
  15. Why did Pharaoh ask Moshe to bless him?
  16. Why did the Jewish People carry their matzah on their shoulders rather than have their animals carry it?
  17. Who comprised the erev rav (mixed multitude)?
  18. What three historical events occurred on the 15th of Nissan, prior to the event of the Exodus from Egypt?
  19. What is the source of the "milk and honey" found in Eretz Yisrael?
  20. The only non-kosher animal whose firstborn is redeemed is the donkey. What did the donkeys do to "earn" this distinction?


    All references are to the verses and Rashis commentary, unless otherwise stated.

  1. 10:11 - Since children don't bring sacrifices there was no need for them to go.
  2. 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.
  3. 10:22 - During the first three days the Egyptians couldn't see. During the last three days they couldn't move.
  4. 10:22 - During the plague of darkness the Jews could see and they searched and found the Egyptians' vessels.
  5. 11:4 - If Moshe said the plague would begin exactly at midnight, the Egyptians might miscalculate and accuse Moshe of being a fake.
  6. 11:5 - Because the Egyptians worshiped them as gods, and when G-d punishes a nation He also punishes its gods.
  7. 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.
  8. 11:9 - The plague of the firstborn, the splitting of the sea, the drowning of the Egyptian soldiers.
  9. 12:1 - As reward for his efforts in bringing about the plagues.
  10. 12:5 - One year.
  11. 12:6 - Circumcision and Korban Pesach.
  12. 12:13 - "I had mercy" and "I skipped."
  13. 12:22 - Since it was a night of destruction, it was not safe for anyone to leave the protected premises of his home.
  14. 12:31 - "Where does Moshe live? Where does Aharon live?"
  15. 12:32 - So he wouldn't die, for he himself was a firstborn.
  16. 12:34 - Because the commandment of matzah was dear to them.
  17. 12:38 - People from other nations who became converts.
  18. 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.
  19. 13:5 - Goat milk, date and fig honey.
  20. 13:13 - They helped the Jews by carrying silver and gold out of Egypt.

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