Saturday, January 12, 2008

DVAR TORAH S2: Bo (Midnight at the Oasis, put lamb’s blood on your door)

Because I am not a member of the Writer's Guild (though I fully support them!), I present another dvar torah, this time for this week's Torah Portion (as I still have a little more flight time, though as I write this intro I am already at home preparing for shabbos...)

Here comes the source for the Passover story… again…

So God is about to nip this Egypt thing in the bud once and for all. He’s played with his food for nine plagues now and he’s going to strike with awesomeness yet again. However this one will be so awful and awesome that it is the last straw for Pharaoh (until he comes after them on the way to the Sea of Reeds, anyway) and so they need to have their escape route planned. But they are not escaping as thieves into the dead of night. They will remain in Egypt until the next morning and will leave with pomp, circumstance, and fanfare, and the Egyptians will willingly lavish them with riches which they so deserve for working as slaves for so many centuries. God needs to give the Israelites (Does it work like the constructs of meteors? Israeloids? Israels?) a game plan. As I mentioned on last week’s torah portion a couple of minutes ago (sigh… still on the plane…), God has been getting glory upon Egypt and her gods. Now it is Israel’s turn to shame the gods of Egypt and their human oppressors. They will tie up the lambs (or goats), sacred to the Egyptians and proceed to bring them in to their dwellings and they will proceed to slaughter them, smear their blood on the doors of their homes and eat the sacred beasts for a festive dinner, all on the night when the Angel of Death (or God as God Himself will claim) visits death upon the firstborn Egyptians. Not only this, but on any house on which there is the blood of the deified beast of Egypt, the Destroyer will pass over and not harm the inhabitants.

We know that in the Seventh Plague that climaxed last week’s torah portion, fiery hail, that anyone who feared God, regardless of religion or ethnicity, should put their livestock and themselves indoors during the duration and they would not be harmed. We learn that there are a number of Egyptians that comply and are saved from the deadly combination of the four elements working in tandem, earth, fire, wind, water (and heart… poor Mati, his Captain Planet power was worthless…). And here there were also Egyptians that believed in God, particularly after many challenged Pharaoh to concede to the God of Israel as having already defeated them and that “Egypt is lost”. Were they given the opportunity or the advanced knowledge of how to avert the plague? If they did would they kill one of their gods to save their own lives? Would it have worked?

And so while there was death all around them, the Jews were to sing. In the future they would spill wine like tears to diminish their joy at what had to happen to the Egyptians, but at this point in time when Israel was still enslaved and whipped and murdered by them this was justified payback. Yesterday we were slaves in Egypt, but freedom will come with dawn.

Beginning to land, gotta go… Shabbat Shalom.

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