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WEEKLY TORAH PORTION (BIBLE STUDY): BO (Go)

WEEKLY TORAH PORTION (BIBLE STUDY):
BO (Go)
TORAH : SHEMOT (Exodus) 10:1-13:16
HAFTARAH (Writings & Prophets) : JEREMIAH 46:13-28
B'RIT CHADASHA (Gospel) : JOHN 19:31-37
 
In traditional Sabbath Torah reading, the parashah is divided into seven readings, or עליות‬, aliyot. In the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible (תנ״ך‬, Tanakh), Parashah Bo has seven "open portion" (פתוחה‬, petuchah) divisions (roughly equivalent to paragraphs, often abbreviated with the Hebrew letter פ‬ (peh)). Parashah Bo has seven further subdivisions, called "closed portion" (סתומה‬, setumah) divisions (abbreviated with the Hebrew letter ס‬ (samekh)) within the open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) divisions. The first open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) contains the first and part of the second readings (עליות‬, aliyot). The second open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) covers the balance of the second and part of the third readings (עליות‬, aliyot). The third open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) covers the balance of the third and all of the fourth readings (עליות‬, aliyot). The fourth open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) covers the fifth and part of the sixth readings (עליות‬, aliyot). The fifth and sixth open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) divisions further divide the sixth reading (עליה‬, aliyah). The seventh open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) divides the seventh reading (עליה‬, aliyah). Closed portion (סתומה‬, setumah) divisions separate the first and second readings (עליות‬, aliyot), separate the second and third readings (עליות‬, aliyot), and separate the third and fourth readings (עליות‬, aliyot). Further closed portion (סתומה‬, setumah) divisions divide the fourth and sixth readings (עליות‬, aliyot), and conclude the seventh reading (עליה‬, aliyah).
 
Moses Speaks to Pharaoh
First reading — Exodus 10:1–11
In the first reading (עליה‬, aliyah), after seven plagues, God continued visiting plagues on Egypt. Moses and Aaron warned Pharaoh to let the Israelite's go, or suffer locusts covering the land. Pharaoh's courtiers pressed Pharaoh to let the men go, so Pharaoh brought Moses and Aaron back and asked them, "Who are the ones to go? Moses insisted that young and old, sons and daughters, flocks and herds would go, but Pharaoh rejected Moses' request and expelled Moses and Aaron from his presence. The first reading (עליה‬, aliyah) and a closed portion (סתומה‬, setumah) end here.
 
 
Second reading — Exodus 10:12–23
In the second reading (עליה‬, aliyah), Moses held his rod over the land, and God drove an east wind to bring locusts to invade all the land. Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron, asked forgiveness, and asked them to plead with God to remove the locusts. Moses did so, and God brought a west wind to lift the locusts into the Sea of Reeds. But God stiffened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go. The first open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) ends here.
 
In the continuation of the reading (עליה‬, aliyah), God instructed Moses to hold his arm toward the sky to bring darkness upon the land, and Moses did so, but the Israelites enjoyed light. The second reading (עליה‬, aliyah) and a closed portion (סתומה‬, setumah) end here.
 
Third reading — Exodus 10:24–11:3
In the third reading (עליה‬, aliyah), Pharaoh summoned Moses and told him to go, leaving only the Israelites' flocks and herds behind, but Moses insisted that none of the Israelites' livestock be left behind, for "[W]e shall not know with what we are to worship the Lord until we arrive there." But God stiffened Pharaoh's heart, and he expelled Moses saying: "[T]he moment you look upon my face, you shall die." The second open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) ends here with the end of chapter 10.
 
In the continuation of the reading (עליה‬, aliyah) in chapter 11, God told Moses that God would bring one more plague, and then Pharaoh would let the Israelites go. God told Moses to tell the Israelites to ask their neighbors for silver and gold, and God disposed the Egyptians to favor the Israelites and Moses. The third reading (עליה‬, aliyah) and a closed portion (סתומה‬, setumah) end here.
 
Fourth reading — Exodus 11:4–12:20
In the fourth reading (עליה‬, aliyah), Moses warned Pharaoh that God would kill every firstborn in Egypt. And Moses left Pharaoh in hot anger. A closed portion (סתומה‬, setumah) ends here.
 
In the continuation of the reading (עליה‬, aliyah), God told Moses and Aaron to mark that month as the first of the months of the year. And God told them to instruct the Israelites in the laws of the Passover service, of the Passover lamb, and of abstaining from leavened bread. The fourth reading (עליה‬, aliyah) and the third open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) end here.
 
Fifth reading — Exodus 12:21–28
In the short fifth reading (עליה‬, aliyah), Moses instructed the elders of Israel to kill their Passover lambs, paint their doorways with the lamb's blood, and remain inside their houses until the morning. For God would smite the Egyptians, but when God saw the blood on the lintel, God would pass over the house and not allow "the Destroyer" to come into that house. The Israelites were to observe the Passover service for all time, and when their children would ask what the service means, they were to say that it commemorated the time when God passed over the Israelites' houses when God smote the Egyptians. ' And the people bowed the head and worshipped. And the Israelites did as God commanded Moses and Aaron. The fifth reading (עליה‬, aliyah) and a closed portion (סתומה‬, setumah) end here.
 
Sixth reading — Exodus 12:29–51
In the sixth reading (עליה‬, aliyah), in the middle of the night, God struck down all the firstborn in Egypt. Pharaoh arose in the night to a loud cry in Egypt, summoned Moses and Aaron, and told them to take the Israelites and go. So the Israelites took their dough before it was leavened, and asked for silver, gold, and clothing from the Egyptians. The fourth open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) ends here.
 
In the continuation of the reading, the Israelites and a mixed multitude journeyed from Rameses to Sukkot. They baked unleavened bread (מַצָּה‬, matzah), because they could not delay before they left Egypt. The Israelites dwelt in Egypt for 430 years and left the land after the night of watching for the Lord. The fifth open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) ends here.
 
In the continuation of the reading (עליה‬, aliyah), God told Moses and Aaron the laws of who was to keep the Passover. A closed portion (סתומה‬, setumah) ends here.
 
The reading (עליה‬, aliyah) concludes with a notice that on the same day, God bought the Israelites out of Egypt. The sixth reading (עליה‬, aliyah) and the sixth open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) end here with the end of chapter 12.
 
Seventh reading — Exodus 13:1–16
In the seventh reading (עליה‬, aliyah), in chapter 13, God instructed Moses to tell the Israelites to consecrate to God every firstborn man and beast, and Moses did so. Moses told the people to remember the day and the month in which God brought them out of Egypt, and to keep the service to commemorate their deliverance in the same month, eating only unleavened bread (מַצָּה‬, matzah). And they were to tell their children, to keep it as a sign upon their hands and for a memorial between their eyes, and to keep this ordinance in its season from year to year. The seventh open portion (פתוחה‬, petuchah) ends here.
 
In the continuation of the reading (עליה‬, aliyah), God instructed Moses in the laws of the firstborn.
 
In the maftir (מפטיר‬) reading that concludes the parashah, God instructed that if their children asked about consecrating the firstborn, the Israelites were to tell their children that God slew the firstborn of Egypt, and therefore the Israelites were to sacrifice to God all firstborn animals and redeem their firstborn sons. And thus it shall be for a sign upon their hands, and for frontlets between their eyes, for with a mighty hand God brought them out of Egypt. The seventh reading (עליה‬, aliyah), closed portion (סתומה‬, setumah), and the parashah end here.

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