Torah Tidbits

2 September 2014 / 7 Elul 5774
Issue 1029
Shabbat Parshat Bo
January 17, 2013

Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

In this week’s parsha we are introduced to the first command given to the Jewish people as a whole while they were yet in Mitzrayim. Hashem says to Moshe and Aharon, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months, it shall be for you the first of the months of the year” (Sh’mot 12:1-2).
A slave people, for whom time was meaningless, was now bonded with real time. For the Torah narrative, “This month shall be for you”, involved individuals directly in a practical witnessing of the new moon in order to corroborate Rosh Chodesh and thus to fix the dates of the upcoming festivals. This command was so central to the Jewish people that a thousand years later it was one of the three cardinal Jewish practices banned by the Greek- Syrians.
For the S’fat Emet this Mitzva was commanded in Mitzrayim, the epitome of exile and darkness, because it would signify Jewish renewal and the revelation of Hashem’s beneficence in this world that we identify with Redemption. As the moon renews itself every month, so Hashem recreates the world with every passing moment (cf. morning prayers). And if we could but internalize this notion, we too might begin to renew ourselves spiritually with every passing day. A noble thought, especially this month, in which we celebrate the renewal of nature with TU BiShvat.

Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff

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