Parshat Bo!

9 years ago Leighest 0

By Yasmine Shahar

This weeks’ Parsha is Parshat Bo!

In last weeks’ Parsha, Egypt was inflicted with the first seven of the Makot (Plagues). In this weeks’ Parsha, Moshe warns Pharaoh about the eighth plague, but Hashem hardens Pharaoh’s heart, and Pharaoh does not allow for all the Jews to leave Egypt. Now, you may be wondering “Doesn’t everyone have free will?” The answer is yes! Then you may say, “Well, Pharaoh didn’t have free will.” But the truth is Hashem ONLY hardened Pharaoh’s heart to its original stubbornness, before the plagues occurred. Hashem did not want Pharaoh to react differently just because of the plagues, Hashem wanted Pharaoh to free the Jews on his own accord.

When Pharaoh did not agree to let the Jewish people go, Hashem inflicted the land with Locust. These locust were huge – some the size of goose eggs – vicious, poisonous, and had claws. The Egyptians were first excited about the locust, but when the swarm came, the Egyptians were anything but happy. The locusts ate anything left over that the other plagues did not destroy. Egyptians who tried to capture the locust to pickle them (EW!) were surprised to find out that the locust escaped!

For the ninth plague Egypt was cast into total darkness. During the first three days of the darkness, the Egyptians were in complete darkness, but could move. But for the last three days, the darkness was so infinite and strong it actually froze people where they were. (That must have been hard or awkward for some people.) Now, during this time, the Jews were able to see perfectly, so they would go inside the Egyptian homes to LOOK AROUND for any precious jewels or metals, for when they were allowed to leave Egypt they would be able to get payment for their work. When the Egyptians would say that they had no money, the Jews would tell the Egyptians exactly where they had their jewels. Also, during this time, all the non-trusting Jews who were too afraid to leave Egypt, died. This was dome during the plague of darkness so the Egyptians wouldn’t say, “Look, G-D is punishing his own people. This G-D is not only plaguing us!” The seventh day of this plague was saved for later, when the Jews were passing the Red Sea.

The last plague and most scary one is the death of the first born. Pharaoh instructed Moshe and Aaron to never ascend to his palace again, and in reply they said it would be Pharaoh that would be begging for them the next time. And that is exactly what happened, because Pharaoh, himself, was a firstborn.

The Jews were finally freed from Egypt and had their payment; they were commanded three things: First, they were commanded to make Matza. Second, they were commanded their first mitzvah as a nation, which was to bless the new month. Thirdly, the Jewish men were instructed to wear tefillin, as a reminder of the Exodus and their constant commitment to Hashem.

The Jews were told to celebrate the holiday named Passover, because Hashem passed over the houses of Jews during the death of the firstborn (if the Jews painted their doors with the Egyptians sacred animal, goats’, blood). 

For this Parsha eat Matza for dessert! Just kidding,

Idea #1: Make tefillin cake! Put together your favorite cake mix and cook it in whichever shape and decorate! Kind of like this:

bar mitzvah tefillin cake (Large)

Idea #2: Make black and white cookies! Why? Because the Jews must now bless a new month (moon in the dark sky) and because of the plague of darkness!


1 cup unsalted butter or margarine

1 3/4 cups white sugar

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

2 1/2 cups cake flour 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup boiling water

1 (1 ounce) square bittersweet chocolate

, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter 2 baking sheets.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the milk, vanilla, and lemon extract. Combine cake flour and all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually blend into the creamed mixture. Drop tablespoonful’s of the dough 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

3. Bake until edges begin to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Cool completely.

4. Place confectioners sugar in large bowl. Mix in boiling water one tablespoon at a time until mixture is thick and spreadable. (Add more than the indicated amount if you need to).

5. Transfer half of the frosting to the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. Stir in the chocolate. Warm mixture, stirring frequently, until the chocolate melts. Remove from heat.

6. With a brush, coat half the cookie with chocolate frosting and the other half with the white frosting. Set on waxed paper until frosting hardens.