Parsha sheet: Bo – Breakout

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Pre-planned Rush?!?

In the Haggadah we say that we eat Matzah to commemorate  that Bnei Yisroel’s dough didn’t have time to rise prior to Hashem revealing Himself to them and redeemed them as the pasuk says: “they baked the dough they took out of Egypt as matza….for they were chased out of Mitzrayim and they made no provisions…”. Already on Rosh Chodesh Nissan Hashem  commanded Moshe with all the laws of Pesach and the Seder night that they were to celebrate two weeks later in Mitzrayim. They knew redemption was imminent, why didn’t they pace themselves and prepare provisions?  They left things for the last minute on purpose! Furthermore, is that really the reason we eat Matzah and negate Chometz? They were commanded in these Mitzvos already on Rosh Chodesh Nissan and held a Seder complete with Pesach, Matzah, and Maror the night before “they were chased out of Mitzrayim”. How can their “sudden” departure from Egypt be the reason we eat Matza and negate Chometz if they were commanded in all these Mitzvos prior to that event? Once we mention the Mitzvos of the Seder, let’s raise the fundamental question: Why is the Seder called “Seder” – order?

Lshem Shomayim is a “Jump”?!?

“Pesach because Hashem ‘passed over’ the houses of Bnei Yisroel” Rashi on the Pasuk “Pesach for Hashem”(12:11)explains: “The Korban is what’s called Pesach because Hashem ‘skipped over’ the houses of the Jews from amongst the houses of the Mitzrim he jumped from Mitzri to Mitzri and the Jew in the middle was saved – so you also do all Hashem’s Divine service for the sake of Heaven in a manner of skipping and jumping”.  Why is doing Mitzvos for the sake of Heaven called “skipping and jumping”? How is it parallel to what Hashem did for us when he “skipped” over us?

Matzos & Mitzvos

“Guard the Matzos”(12:17) Rashi first explains the literal meaning that the Matzos have to be guarded from becoming Chometz he then brings the drasha of Rav  Yoshia “do not read it as Matzos but rather as Mitzvos just like we do not allow the Matzos to become Chometz so also we don’t allow the Mitzvos to become Chometz but rather if a Mitzvah comes your way do it immediately”. What do Mitzvos and Matzos have to do with each other? What difference does it make if  a Mitzvah is done immediately and quickly or if it’s done slowly or delayed?

Why Midnight?

Moshe told the people that “at approximately midnight” Hashem will bring the final plague of Makas Bechoros? He was afraid they would get the calculations for midnight wrong and conclude that the threat was not delivered on time. Why was it important to do the final capstone plague at EXACTLY midnight which is impossible for humans to calculate accurately?

Bread & Brains

Hashem has great plans for Destiny since before creation. The sin of Adam changed human consciousness. Man can’t naturally perceive truth and see the “SEDER” – order of reality as Hashem planned it and guides it. How does man “make sense” of the world around him? After his sin, Adam is consoled that at least “by the sweat of his brow he will eat bread”. That makes him better than an animal because there’s some intelligence and sophistication in the food he eats. This is perfectly reflective of where his mentality is. The Chometz represents the Yetzer Hara that man internalized because of sin of Adam, that’s why he eats bread and likes it – Chometz fits comfortably with what his body has become. Chometz represents the ego  which is Man’s sense of the self – the “I”.  Chometz also represents the entirety of the post-sin natural mentality of humanity. The Human being makes order out of life by measuring it with “Time & Space”, what’s first, second, third, etc. in time and what’s positioned in first place, second place, third place etc. Chometz is comprised of time and space I.E. give it time and it will puff up and take up more space. The human mind uses “Time & Space” to make order not only out of physical life but also for power and politics: “grab the moment  grab the position  nice guys finish last”. However, like Chometz, all perceived good things in physical life  rapidly go stale and rot – nothing that is “good” by our perception lasts forever.

Destiny

The “Chometz way of thinking” is in total opposition to the idea of “Destiny”. “Destiny” is an all-encompassing plan for everything at the right time and in the right place. In Destiny, “First” isn’t defined by time & space just like the Torah, the blueprint of reality, is not necessarily in chronological order. In Destiny the best things are left for last at the end of time and everything is just building up towards that point – that end point is “First” – “End of action is FIRST in thought”. The Jewish people are called “Hashem’s firstborn” (4:22) and this statement  was to be subsequently demonstrated by the plague of firstborn (4:23). Which nation arose first, the Egyptians or the Jewish people? All the seventy nations emerged and set up their civilizations before the Jewish people arose and received the Torah. However, the Jewish people and the Torah  ‘predate’ physical reality – the very first word of the Torah – “Bereishis” – for the sake of the first – for the sake of the Jewish people who are called “first” and for the sake of the Torah which is called “first”. All the other nations of the world follow chronological and spatial order of “chometz” and that’s why the seven Nations/Palestinians want the land of Israel – because they were there first.

Breaking out of the Bread Box

We follow the SEDER  of Hashem’s plan for Destiny! First in space-time means nothing to us- that’s “Chometz”! With the Torah and Mitzvos we break out of the Earthly realm and the “Chometz mentality” and attain a destiny oriented “Torah mentality” and connect to the Heavenly reality. By no coincidence the first Mitzvah that we got was to set our calendar. This Mitzvah sets the tone of all Mitzvos: we are above time and therefore control time.

Chatzi Halayla & Pesach

“Exactly half-night” is  not a time on a clock! There is no stretch of time that can be called “Half-night” – every microsecond belongs either to the first half or the second half! This final plague happened outside of time!! This same event is called “Pesach” – the skip/jump -Skipping/jumping in to NOT transverse space naturally – you skip steps – you jump to a higher plane – this is to beyond space!   It had to be that way – we are being liberated from the Chometz space-time! This is the secret behind why Yetzias Mitzrayim had to be done “rushed” – no matter how much ahead of time we knew about the upcoming liberation, Yetzias Mitzrayim is purposely being set up as a rush – in order to defy time and to skip and jump to get out of regular space – that’s true liberation – to get out of the chometz world order that came to the world by the sin of Adam. “There’s no earlier or later in the Torah” – even though the Mitzva of Matza was commanded ahead of the event it commemorates – being rushed to leave Egypt – it makes no difference. Chronology is not the point, Matzah commemorates freedom from the world order of Chometz – that liberation will be rushed – whenever it happens! This is the secret that the mitzvos of Seder night are called the “SEDER”- order: because on this night we are liberated from the “order of Chometz” and live by the “SEDER”-order of the Torah!

The Matza in the Mitzvah

Mitzvos are not regular actions like all other earthly affairs within space-time. Mitzvos are there to make a connection between this world and what’s above physicality. That’s why Mitzvos have to be done quickly and immediately! Mitzvos cannot have the full effect they’re meant to have of actually breaking out of space-time to make the connection to the higher realms – therefore they must be done swiftly  like everything  matzah represents.

Liberation from the internal Mitzrayim

Mitzvos are supposed to be liberating experiences that break out of the physical parameters of time and space and connect us to the higher realms, this includes to get us beyond the Yetzer Hara inside of us. The worst Yetzer Harah is “Ga’ava”. Egocentricity is  our internal Chometz.   In business, you may make a lot of financial progress – but you’re not progressing as a person. You’re making exchanges, you’re demanding fair compensation for whatever goods you provide or services you render. If we “exchange” our Mitzvos for reward from Hashem it’s as if we’re “doing business” with Him – in other words – We’re serving ourselves – not Him!! That’s a tragedy for us! We’re stuck in the egocentricity of our internal Chometz. Hashem “jumped over” us  -showing that we’re on a different plane and in different dimensions and not in regular space-time. What about our internal time-space, our internal Chometz? We have to reciprocate and “jump out” of our ego which is our chometz and our Mitzrayim – the narrowness of selfishness – and serve Him for His sake.