Parashat Bo / פרשת בא

Crop of Death of the Pharaoh's Firstborn Son by Alma Tadema


Parashat Bo is the 15th weekly reading in the annual Torah reading cycle, and the third reading of Shemot (“Exodus”). Bo (בֹּא) is Hebrew for Come and is the first word HaShem speaks to Moshe (Moses) in the parashah, in which He calls Moshe to come to Pharoh and speaks of the purpose for His signs in Mitzrayim (Egypt).

The parashah continues with a record of the events surrounding the final three plagues which HaShem inflicts upon Mitzrayim, recording HaShem’s words to Pharoh through Moshe, the part Moshe and Aharon (Aaron) play in speaking to Pharoh and bringing the plagues upon Mitzrayim, and the response of Pharoh and his servants, culminating in Bnei Yisrael (the Children of Yisrael) being driven from Mitzrayim.

Parashat Bo includes at length HaShem’s words to Moshe about the final plague that He inflicts upon Mitzrayim, including HaShem’s instructions regarding the preparations that should be made by those who fear HaShem, that disaster may be averted. The parashah also records HaShem’s instructions regarding the memorial pertaining to this event which HaShem establishes for Bnei Yisrael throughout our generations, until the World to Come. The parashah also records the words of Moshe to Ziknei Yisrael (the Elders of Yisrael), and how the people respond.

Along with the record of the final plague upon Mitzrayim, the parashah records how Mitzrayim urgently drove Bnei Yisrael from the land, and how Bnei Yisrael plundered Mitzrayim at the direction of HaShem through His servant Moshe. Following this is a record of the exodus from Mitzrayim, the parashah detailing the number of years in which Yisrael was in Mitzrayim.

Parashat Bo concludes with HaShem’s statute for Bnei Yisrael to eat the Pesakh (Passover), as well as the provision which He establishes for the sojourner in Yisrael who desires to also eat of it, the consecration of the firstborn to HaShem, and Moshe’s instructions to Bnei Yisrael regarding the Chag HaMatzot (the Feast of Unleavened Bread).

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Torah Portion: Exodus 10:1 – 13:16

1st Aliyah: Exodus 10:1-11 (11 verses)
2nd AliyahExodus 10:12-23 (12 verses)
3rd Aliyah: Exodus 10:24-11:3 (9 verses)
4th Aliyah: Exodus 11:4-12:20 (27 verses)
5th Aliyah: Exodus 12:21-28 (8 verses)
6th Aliyah: Exodus 12:29-51 (23 verses)
7th Aliyah: Exodus 13:1-16 (16 verses)
Maftir: Exodus 13:14-16 (3 verses)

Reading from the Nevi’im (Prophets):
Jeremiah 46:13 – 46:28

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