Posted on March 23, 2011
by Jeremy Moses
I am told too often that D’var Torahs are boring and irrelevant. People would much rather know who won the Expos game or know what movie is #1 at the Box Office than learn about this week’s Parsha. These people have been mistaken. This week, Parashat Bo is more exciting than Ashton Kutcher making millions for The Butterfly Effect. Let me prove it to you:
Voice of the Movie Preview Guy: The Hebrews were an oppressed nation. After being forced out of their homeland by famine, they were forced to live in the land of Egypt. In Egypt, there was a horrible Pharaoh. This Pharaoh decided to enslave the Hebrews in order boost up his economy and work production. For hundreds of years, the Hebrews suffered as the slaves of the Egyptian Empire. Until one day, they said NO MORE! This Shabbat, God will unleash a furry upon Pharaoh and the Egyptian people. With the help of his special messengers Moshe and Aharon, he will teach Pharaoh a lesson he will not soon forget.
Moses: I’ve said it seven times already Pharaoh. When will you learn!? LET MY PEOPLE GO!!!!
Pharaoh’s servants: Sir, I do believe that it would be in the Empire’s best interests to listen to these men! That God of theirs is too strong for us. Who knows what he will do next?
Pharaoh: Ha! I am Pharaoh! The Supreme Ruler of Egypt! Why should I back down to this invisible God of theirs?
Voice of Movie Preview Guy: Thousands of locusts infested the land of Egypt but Pharaoh was not impressed. So God and Moses sent a plague of darkness to teach the Egyptians a final lesson. Or so they thought…(Side note: Some would argue that God knew exactly what Pharaoh’s reaction would be.)
Pharaoh: Darkness…Psh. It not like we have electricity anyways…
Voice of Movie Preview Guy: God had one more punishment in store for the Egyptians but first he had to prepare Moses and the Hebrews.
God: Moses, tell your people that they must sacrifice a lamb and cover their doorposts with its blood. If this done, the night that the final assault of the Egyptian people occurs, the Hebrews will be saved.
Voice of Movie Preview Guy: God unleashed his most powerful plague of all, The Death of the First Born. Pharaoh is devastated and decides to let the Hebrews go. But will he change his mind? Find out next week with the conclusion of the amazing story of the Hebrews. Moses stars in Battle at the Sea.
Now to get a tad more serious. The story of the Ten Plagues is one of the most famous stories in Judaism. It is one of the stories that even a good amount of Non-Jews know. So, if we know so much about the story already, what can we, as USYers, learn from it?
Many of us are on chapter or regional boards. We have had many tasks and goals that we set in the beginning the year hoping that they will be successful. Hopefully, by now, your goals are coming along and you are having a successful year. Sadly though, not everything works out the way we want it to. Even if you are having a successful year in USY or in school, you have had some things not go your way. My message to you is to not give up. There is still plenty of time for things to change. The Hebrews were enslaved for hundreds of years. Yet they trusted enough to listen to Moshe and give themselves a chance at freedom. Even after nine plagues and Pharaoh saying no to their release, they believed enough in Moshe and Hashem to sacrifice a lamb and put the blood on their doorposts. While you aren’t getting revenge against anyone, pay attention to the perseverance of the Hebrews. Because of that perseverance, they were able to get out of Egypt and reach the land of Canaan. So whenever you are feeling that your goals are unattainable, think back to the Hebrews. Taking an ounce of the Hebrew’s perseverance, and you will be able to reach incredible heights.
I wish you all a wonderful Shabbat Shalom and a good rest of the week.