Parshas Bo:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il

Parshas Bo

Pasuk (10:22)

"And there was darkness upon Egypt for three days"

Rashi asks why Hashem brought the plague of darkness on the Egyptians?

Comes Rashi and explains, that the reason why Hashem brought the darkness was because of the evildoers in that generation, they died during this darkness.

Why did Rashi find need to explain the reason for the plague Davkah by the plague of darkness?

Comes Rav Shlezinger (Aleh Hadvarim), and explains that since the Egyptians only saw darkness wherever they looked, they didn't know that the Jews had light.

Therefore they could not see the greatness of the miracle.

So Rashi comes to explain to us the deeper meaning of the plague of darkness, and of all the plagues.

The primary effect of all the plagues was for Klal Yisroel, in order for them to see the greatness of Hashem. Therefore, Rashi explains to us that the Bnei Yisroel were able to see that all around them was darkness, yet for them there was light. This plague showed more than the others, the meaning for the plagues:

That the Bnei Yisroel should see "the hand of Hashem".

Many times we see things around us happening in the world. We don't realize the miracles that happen every day, only on occasions, when all around us there is darkness (troubles), only then do we realize the hand of Hashem (in the midst of darkness).

Let us try to realize the "hand of Hashem" in the times of good, therefore we won't need to see Hashem's hand in the bad times.

Pasuk (12:2)

"This month shall be for you the head of the months, it is the first to you, out of the months of the year."

Every month has its sign. The sign of Nissan is a sheep (ram).

We also know that the Egyptians worshipped sheep, for it is known that sheep symbolize wealth (Rashi in Devarim 7:13 . "Ashteros Tzonecha = sheep brings wealth to their owners.)

The month of Nissan falls out in the spring, which is a time when everything starts coming back to life after the dormant winter season. In this season, people start wishing for wealth in the coming months, that their crops should be successful, and that their sheep and cattle should multiply...

Therefore, Davkah in the spring there is a great need to denounce the concept of wealth being ones primary goal in life.

Thus the Bnei Yisroel were commanded to take, Davkah in this month, their wealth (sheep) and sacrifice it to Hashem.

We should do the same, at the time that one feels things are going well for him, and his Parnasah is o.k., this is a perfect time to give a sacrifice to Hashem.

We know that since there are no sacrifices in our days, giving Charity, or doing Chesed with ones money, is a very good way to show Hakarah to Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

(Adapted from Kol Dodi (Rav David Feinstein)



Kidush Levanah (Birchas Levanah)

On the renewal of every month, one must bless the new moon.

The Rabbeinu Yonah (Gemarah Berochos) brings down the reason for this Mitzvah.

That even though Hashem can't be seen, through his "Gevurotov and Niflaosav" Hashem can be seen. We thus say praise to Hashem through his creations (moon), since through Hashem's creations, we see his greatness, and we also use the moon as a means for praise, for we get pleasure from the light given off by the moon.

We see from our Parsha (Rashi 12:2)that Hashem showed Moshe, what size is needed in order to be Mekadesh a Levanah.

The Rambam brings down that one can say K.L, right after the Molad.

While Rabbeinu Yonah (Gemarah Berochos, perek Tefilas Hashachar) brings down that it should be noticeable, he should see a piece of the moon clearly, this would be only after 2-3 days from the Molad.

There are 2 accepted opinions on when one can start.

a) Ashkenazim & Temanim - 3 days after the Molad (Lehalacha)

b) Sefardim & Chasidim - 7 days after the Molad (from Kabalah)

1) One must do K.L. under the open sky, not in a building, and preferably, not even under a tree (or any other object)

2) One must also be able to see the moon clearly, not behind the clouds.

3) One should only look at the moon before he makes the Beracha, and not in the middle of Kiddush Levanah, for it looks like he is praying to the moon.

4) Women are exempt from Kiddush Levanah.

5) A blind man is also required to say Kiddush Levanah, yet is preferred for him to ask someone to be Yotzay him with the Beracha. ( Since the Beracha is on the renewal, and he also enjoys from the light, since others use the light to lead him.)

6) It says in Mesechet Sofrim, one should say the Birchat Hal'vanah on Motzei Shabbos/ Motzei Yom Tov. For this is when one is dressed up in fine garments.

7) The Gemarah brings down 2 opinions of until when one can say Kidush Levanah

a) Rav Yehudah - till seven days after the Molad.

b) Naharday - till end of 15th day.

The Halacha is accepted as 29/2 days = approximately 14.5 days.

8) One should say Kidush Levanah on Motzei Shabbos, as long as Motzei Shabbos (Sunday) falls out before the 10th of the month. If it would fall out after, one should not wait till the 10th of the month, yet it is preferred to say it during the week, because it may be cloudy 2 or 3 days..

(I want to thank Yisrael M. Silverstein for his help in preparing the above Halacha Byte)