שְׁמוֹת / shemos / shemot / Exodus 10:1-13:16
Special thank you to Elisheva for this week’s amazing illustrations!!!
The parsha where Paroh at last lets us go.
The shortest parsha-name in the world, you know
Just two little letters, lined up just for show.
But just look again at those letters that flow,
Stare at them briefly; they’ll make you say “whoa.”
You might think it’s all about going, although
“Bo” really means COME – a whole different tableau.
When you are stuck in a bad status quo
You could hop in your boat and away you could row.
But this week’s parsha says “Stop! No, no, no!
Hashem’s work comes first, so please don’t move a toe.”
“But wait,” you might cry, “that’s not apropos,”
Thinking you’d rather say “bye” than “hello.”
“Life in Mitzrayim is no slice of gateau;
And we’ve been here since it was so long ago!”
“Mitzrayim is weak now, they’ve suffered a blow;
In a battle our luck would be more than so-so.”
The Jews, long enslaved, could be strong with a hoe,
To fight back against Paroh, his land overthrow.
But Hashem says simply to Moshe, to “bo” –
“Come back once again to that terrible foe.”
The words don’t spook him; by now, he’s a pro,
And he sees just the lesson Hashem must bestow.
He knew the Jews must not flee like a doe
Though it’s taken so long to see justice so slow
Through hail and through locusts, we watched from below
Witnessed every miracle and every cawing crow.
As slaves, our lives were full of weeping woe,
Mired in misery, trapped on our plateau.
We all felt degraded, we’d lost our holy glow;
Slowly, then, watching, we began again to grow.
The last time Moshe appeared before Paroh,
While we waited and watched and kneaded our dough.
Our stay in Mitzrayim had brought us so low,
But the seeds of redemption he'd helped us to sow.
That’s what we realized as we stood there in Go-
shen… and it’s all there, in the parsha we now learn as BO!