Summary of Parshat Bo
Parshat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16) begins with the eighth plague that Hashem brings upon the Egyptians as the land is covered by swarms of locusts, destroying all of the crops remaining from the plague of hail. After the locusts are removed at Pharaoh's behest, he once again refuses to set free the Jewish people, and the ninth plague of darkness encompasses the land. When that plague ceases, Pharaoh becomes even more defiant about not freeing the slaves, at which point Moses warns Pharaoh about the upcoming tenth plague, the death of the Egyptian firstborns. The Torah interrupts the narrative here with the first mitzvah given to the Jewish people as a nation - the sanctification of Rosh Chodesh, the new month, beginning with the month of Nissan. Hashem teaches Moses about the korban Pesach (Paschal lamb) and the rest of the laws of the Passover holiday, which Moses transmits to the Jewish people. At midnight of the appointed night, the plague strikes with every non-Jewish firstborn dying, including Pharaoh's own son, and the Egyptian king speedily sends the Jewish people from his country. The Children of Israel travel forth in a hurry with the great wealth they have just been given by the Egyptians. The Torah portion concludes with various mitzvot commemorating the exodus.
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