Blog Single Post

Daily Aliya for Bo, Revii (4th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Moshe delivered G‑d’s warning to Pharaoh: “At midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt. Every firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the slave woman…” G‑d then gave the Israelites their first mitzvah, that of determining the New Moon (Rosh Chodesh) each month and establishing a lunar calendar. G‑d also told Moshe to instruct the Israelites to designate a lamb for the Paschal Offering. The Israelites were to sacrifice this lamb and consume it, together with matzah and bitter herbs, on the eve of the fifteenth of Nissan. The blood of the lamb was to be smeared on the lintels and doorposts of the Israelite residences, and all inside those homes would be spared when G‑d descended to smite the Egyptian firstborn. G‑d also instructed that for all future generations this day would signal the beginning of the seven-day holiday of Passover, during which no leaven can be eaten or possessed.

The Torah describes the tranquility of the Jewish area with the statement “a dog didn’t even bark”. Dogs usually sense death and instinctively react. To highlight the contrast between the Egyptians and the Israelites, the dogs were miraculously silent. In “tribute” to the dogs for their role in bringing greater honor and appreciation to G-d on the night of the Exodus, the Torah rewards them by telling us (elsewhere) to throw our non-kosher meat to the dogs (this applies only when a forbidden food isn’t also forbidden to derive other benefit therefrom.) Thus we have an unusual lesson in acknowledging the good that another does for you.