Parashat Bo: Sacrifice
What do you love most in the world? Maybe your Family, your Friends or something else entirely. Imagine overnight the thing you love most was gone. It was sacrificed based on the stubbornness of someone else. How would it feel to sacrifice what you love most for your beliefs, or the beliefs of someone else?
I ask you these hard questions because in this week’s Torah portion, Bo, the Egyptians experience the last and most devastating plague, the Death of the Firstborn. Where the thing the Egyptians loved most was sacrificed because Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go. In our Torah portion G-d says to Moses and Aaron,
“I will pass through the land of Egypt on this night, and I will smite every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast, and upon all the gods of Egypt will I wreak judgments I, the Lord. And the blood will be for you for a sign upon the houses where you will be, and I will see the blood and skip over you, and there will be no plague to destroy [you] when I smite the [people of the] land of Egypt (Ex 12: 12-13).”
The blood G-d speaks of is the blood of the Passover Sacrifice. The blood of a firstborn male, unblemished lamb, which G-d tells the Israelites to put on the doorposts of their homes, so the Angel of Death will pass over them. The Passover Sacrifice, which saves the Israelites, becomes a devastating tragedy for the Egyptians, including Pharaoh. So tonight at your dinner ask the hard questions: 1) What do you love most in the world?, and 2) How would it feel to sacrifice what you love most for your beliefs, or the beliefs of someone else? Perhaps if more of us asked each other these questions, our world might be different.